Building a Retirement Home for Aging in Place, the Home of Your Dreams
This stunning one-story home can be custom designed for aging in place.
With thousands of baby boomers reaching retirement age daily, the demand for universal design features to accommodate aging in place continues to grow. If you are interested in building a retirement home, make sure the house plan you select can include important age-in-place features. Those features make it possible for you to live in the home throughout your golden years without the need for remodeling.
If building a home for aging in place does not sound very exciting, you will be pleased to discover that incorporating age-in-place features does not stop you from building a modern, luxurious home you will love living in. With the right build, you won’t even notice them.
What does Aging in Place Mean?
Aging in Place is the ability to continue living in your own home, safely and independently, as you grow older and your needs change.
According to the National Aging in Place Council, more than 90 percent of older adults would prefer to age in place in their own homes rather than move to senior housing. However, many of their homes would require costly modifications.
A home built with universal design features for aging in place will not require those modifications.
What is Universal Design?
The National Association of Home Builders defines universal design as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” A house with universal design meets the needs of anyone, even when their needs and abilities change.
What are Common Universal Design Features in a Home?
Some of the common universal design features important to aging in place include:
- Single story living – Either a one-story home or a multi-story house with single-story living (at least a kitchen, full bath and bedroom on the first floor) and an elevator.
- No-step entrance – At least one entrance to the home should be level (no steps) to accommodate anyone using a wheelchair or walker, and no steps should be required to enter main rooms of the home.
- Open floorplans – The house should include spacious open spaces for easy maneuvering and good visibility. The NAHB recommends a 5-foot by 5-foot clear space in living rooms, bedroom and bathroom.
- Wide hallways and doorways – Halls and doorways should be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Doorways should have at least 32 inches of clear width; hallways a minimum of 36 inches wide.
A few other common new home features to accommodate aging in place include:
- Flush thresholds
- Non-slip flooring
- Reinforced bathroom walls for grab bars, or built-in grab bars
- Zero-threshold shower with seating
- Raised electrical outlets
- Lowered electrical switches
- Lower-level countertops
- Pull-out shelving
- Easily accessible storage spaces
- Bright lighting
- Lever-handled doorknobs and rocker-style electrical switches
When Building a Retirement Home, Build the Home of Your Dreams
When you build a retirement home, it will likely be the last home you buy. While incorporating features for aging in places is important, you can still build a comfortable, stylish home you will love living in.
If you want a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, a home designed for aging in place can include the finest gourmet kitchen you can imagine.
Dreaming of a lavish outdoor living area with kitchen and custom pool? An in-home theatre? With the right design, you can enjoy them well into the future.
Your retirement home can be luxurious, aesthetically pleasing, and comfortable while accommodating for your needs today as well as for years to come. Build the retirement home of your dreams. You deserve it!