Aging in Place is continuing to live where you have lived as you age, rather than moving to a nursing home. When remodeling your home, designing to age in place can be a good idea if you view your house as a permanent place for your family. Even if it may be many years down the line, there are a few features you can include that won’t look out of place.
Flat Entry and One-Story Living
Although your house might be two stories, consider including a bedroom on the entry-level floor, and have the kitchen and at least one full bath on that same floor. In the meantime the extra bedroom can be used as a guest bedroom or den, or, as in this project, a living room.
An open plan with lots of clear floor space makes it easier to maneuver and clean. If you don’t want a completely open plan, choose large doorway openings. This will maintain spatial separation while allowing for maneuverability.
Pull-out drawers are much easier to handle than fixed shelves. Design your shelving so that your appliances and main cooking implements can be accessed at waist or hip height, since wall cabinets won’t be as accessible later on and bending down to floor level will be difficult. Dual ovens or drawer dishwashers can help, and in the meantime they’ll save energy.
The shower on the main floor should be walk-in to prevent tripping. If you want a bathtub, keep it separate–this will make it easier to get in and out of both the shower and the tub more easily. To allow for doing some tasks while seated, incorporate a bench in the bathroom and/or leave knee space beneath the sink.
To see how we implemented some of these tips in one of our projects, see the photos and floorplans below: