cover photo: wolfcubchronicles.blogspot.com.au
by Michelle Laurie
‘Aging in place’ has become a viable alternative to a population that wants to retain independence and livability in the neighborhoods that they like.
Traditionally, older folks looked to downsizing as a more practical approach to more appropriate living arrangements. Many older people find themselves selling up and leaving the family home for a more manageable living arrangement such as seniors’ apartments or even nursing homes. But moving out of one’s environment, away from familiar a neighborhood, friends and family can be unsettling and traumatic.
The National Association of Homebuilders (NAH) has a number of resources and remodeling checklists to help you plan your renovation project. And Mahoney Architects is right there with you – our designs are always family focused, from young to old.
On a bigger scale, think about the current layout of your home – if you have more than two stories, how can you make it more accessible as physical limitations take over? That might mean reconfiguring your home to create a bedroom and bath on the main level, keeping an upstairs room for a live-in carer. A small addition could become a downstairs bedroom. An open floor plan can make getting around the house more manageable should a walker or a wheelchair become necessary.
On a smaller more practical level, there are a number of small renovations that can make your home more accessible.
- Bathrooms can be made bigger with a large walk-in shower, rather than the awkward step over a tub.
- Pull out drawers in the kitchen can store all of your dishes and supplies, avoiding the need for stepladders.
- Ramps can be added to entranceways to make getting in and out much easier. Hand rails should be added to all stairs.
- Photo: ageinplace.com
These are only a few suggestions that can improve the livability of your home if your mobility decreases. With good design choices, aging in place doesn’t mean you have to give up on pleasing aesthetics in order to live comfortably, safely and practically.