What is aging in place?
Friday, June 22, 2018
Most Americans, and especially the Baby Boomer generation, want to continue to enjoy the freedom and familiarity of living in their own home as long as possible, even as the disabilities of aging begin to accumulate. “Aging in place” is the name most often used for programs and government initiatives that outline ways to make it possible, with recommendations for modifications to make a house more senior-friendly that range from simple safety tweaks to major home improvements.
A recent report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University listed the five most important construction features that make a home easier and safer to live in for seniors:
- No steps at the entrance
- Entire living area on a single floor
- Wide doorways and halls for a wheelchair
- Electrical switches and receptacles that are reachable from a wheelchair
- Lever handles on faucets and doors
A surprising fact noted in the report is that only 1% of the single-family homes in America have all five of these basic senior-friendly features. Even more surprising is that all of them could be built into any new single family home and be virtually invisible—unlike other safety items for older households like grab bars in the bathroom—but make it easier for a homeowner to continue to live in their home longer as they age.
Go to our blog post What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home? to learn more.
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