Homeowners want to stay put. They have invested lots of money in their homes which have become a sanctuary in these times when vacations to high-end resorts are being postponed to a time of better economic conditions. Instead, many are choosing to make their homes more comfortable right now and for their future long-term stay. In the remodeling industry it’s known as aging in place and it is becoming a significant source of work for some remodelers.
“The baby boomer generation elected to make themselves as comfortable as possible. So they put money into their homes,” says Marrokal Design & Remodeling. “They have invested a lot of money into their homes and they don’t want to leave them—their home is their castle.”
Staying in their homes as long as possible is the goal, but as wheelchairs, walkers, and other signs of aging are needed, a transformation is required to keep modern comforts and allow for successful and safe mobility.
At Marrokal Design & Remodeling, it all begins with looking at the picture of the lifestyle that their clients want both now and in the future. “People who are middle-aged and younger are also opting to use products that are safer because they see the benefits. They are choosing to use tiles that have textures that prevent slippage. They’re looking for ways to make the home look aesthetically pleasing and assist them with moving comfortably into their later years.”
Adapting a home for aging in place is a tiered process that progresses based on individual needs. Some homeowners may want to make partial adjustments to accommodate for certain needs later in life and others may actually want to make their home compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
For those wanting to gradually transform their home, the focus might first start with safety and ease of mobility. These areas can often be small changes that amount to a huge difference down the road. They can assist both small children and seniors alike. So homeowners will frequently opt for these changes immediately upon moving into a home. Here are a few of the things that help create a safer and more flexible living environment for all ages.
Safety and ease of mobility:
- Creating ramps or slopes instead of steps for easier and faster access to the home.
- Decreasing the height of steps.
- Using materials for flooring that grip or are skid proof to reduce falls.
- Adding lighting at the bottom of the stairwell: reduced lighting, especially at the foot of the stairs, can cause accidents and injuries for seniors.
- Adding grip bars in bathrooms and railings in hallways: signs of fingerprints on walls in hallways often indicate that someone living in the home may need assistance with balance in those areas.
- Filling sunken living rooms: A lot of people who have homes with sunken living rooms are asking to fill up their living room to make it so that it is on the same level as the next room.
- Changing doorknobs to handle levers so that they are easier to open whether someone is elderly or has an injury such as a broken arm.
- Adding walk-in showers that are convenient for both showering the dog and rolling in a wheelchair or walker.
Spacious bathrooms and walk-in showers
The next tier of remodeling is to look at improving areas that have limited access for those who are using wheelchairs or walkers. For those homeowners wanting to age in place, the bathroom almost always needs to be adjusted to accommodate wheeled assistance.
This requires widening doors and re-designing the bathroom so that a wheelchair can freely maneuver not only around the bathroom but also through the doorway to reach the bathroom.
Hallways are generally three feet which is wide enough to get a wheelchair through, but the door openings in a standard home are about two-foot-six or 30 inches wide. So those need to be widened to a minimum of two-foot-ten or three foot which is a standard width.
The next step would be to make the shower more user-friendly. The universal design of a walk-in shower has mass appeal because of its convenience and easy access for all. If you have the space, that’s best; if not, then the shower has to be remodeled so that the doors are frameless. That way, there’s no frame or track that sticks up and prevents the wheelchair from rolling over it.
Kitchens for every age
Most of the design for aging in place for the kitchen is very beneficial for any age. That’s why homeowners will often look to make kitchen remodels their first priority. Ease of access and a clean, stylish look is a high priority and a good addition for potential resale value.
Homeowners don’t want to have to bend down so they request more drawers and pullouts in their cabinetry. They also want their cabinets to be shallower so that they can easily see and reach their kitchenware.
Renovating rooms for future caretakers
Marrokal Design & Remodeling clients are interested in whole room renovations–another preparation for the future. People are creating space for a caretaker. They will have a room remodeled into a suite with a bathroom, a small living space, and kitchenette, so that in later years a caretaker can live there and assist them. These additions are becoming more popular especially as extended families are coming together and living under one roof.
When it comes to remodeling your home for aging in place or simply to add space and comfort, Marrokal Design & Remodeling is the company that clients trust their homes to because the staff understands that every remodeling project is a precious development in their clients’ future.