Recently we began work on a home design for a newlywed couple who are starting their life together by building a home. And, they want it to be one that they can live in for a very long time.
Smart thinking, as you never know what could happen, even temporarily, that might make it difficult to live easily in your own home. Some people want to have a “forever home” that will allow them to live in their home well into their old age and under a variety of circumstances.
Did I mention the newlyweds’ age? The bride is in her 70s and the groom, his 80s. Both previously lost spouses due to illness or declining health and understand the difficulties of caring for someone at home. Aging in place is extremely important to them, to the point of possible invalid care, even live-in help.
There are many things that make aging in place easy, like 3-foot doorways throughout, 4-foot hallways (or wider), special considerations for kitchen access to sinks and dishwashers, ovens, etc.
The many options include an oversized shower, barrier-free so that a wheelchair or walker can roll right in, and backing throughout for grab bars. You can also use floor coverings that work with a walker or wheelchair and door levers over knobs; also consider building the house at grade to avoid any steps or inclines.
Aging in place in not just for older clients. A serious injury, even short term, could render you temporarily disabled. Using a wheelchair or walker in a house not designed for one might surprise you-can you even get to the bathroom, or inside of it once there?
When planning you building or remodeling project, consider incorporating aging in place into your plans if a forever home is in your future.