Dale’s Corner: Aging-in-Place

Hello everyone, Dale here. As many of you know, the house I built and lived in for 34 years is for sale. My wife, Dianne, and I enjoyed our time there and we considered growing old(er) in the home. However, in the end we purchased a house that better suits our needs. A few aging-in-place design improvements we completed include:

  • Installed a lot of LED lighting with dimmers including reading lights above the bed.
  • Installed plate and cup storage drawers in the base cabinets for easier access.
  • Made a large main floor laundry room.
  • Installed easy to grab knobs on all cabinets.
  • Designed access to walkout back yard from the front with a low sloping walk path or we can use the steps as well.
  • Put bench in front foyer so I can sit down to put shoes on, etc.
  • Installed smooth easy to maintain quartz counters.
  • Added mudroom entry from garage for easy access to kitchen.

Whether you’re looking to remodel your home, build a new home or buy – there are many aging-in-place elements you can incorporate or look for.

Aging-in-Place Design Ideas

General

  • Main living on single story (including laundry & full bath)
  • Open floor plan
  • Wider & well lit hallways
  • Minimal or no step entries
  • Plenty of windows for natural light
  • Easy to operate windows
  • Flooring: hardwood, tile or short pile carpet & smooth transitions between fooring types
  • Wider than standard stairways with handrails on both sides

 

Kitchen

  • Wide walkways in between island
  • Lots of base cabinetry/storage (no step stool required)
  • Pull out or drawer cabinetry instead of shelves
  • Wall mounted oven
  • Microwave at lower height in lieu of over the range
  • Lever handle faucets
  • Varying countertop heights to accomodate different needs

 

Bathroom

  • Walk-in shower
  • Built-in bench in shower
  • Adjustable or handheld showerhead
  • Toilet higher than standard height with elongated bowl
  • Vanity height higher than standard
  • Lever handle faucets
  • Grab bars
  • Easy to clean surfaces

 

Lighting/Electrical

  • Task lighting in applicable areas
  • Auto-lighting
  • Adjustable/dimmer lighting
  • Rocker or touch light switches
  • Security system (especially for snow birds)

 

HVAC

  • Zoned heating & cooling, so you can easily control temperature & reduce energy costs
  • Fresh air ventilation exchanges – minimize dust & improve indoor air quality
  • Easily accessible filters

 

All my fellow baby boomers or anyone planning for the future, it is usually possible to make most aging-in-place modifications. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding this topic.

-Dale Gruber
Owner of Home Check Plus

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