Aging in Place: Creating a Home That Embraces Your Future
We believe your home should be a sanctuary that not only meets your current needs but also supports you as you age gracefully. We understand the desire to stay in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by familiar surroundings and cherished memories. That’s why we are dedicated to helping our clients create a space that allows them to embrace their future with confidence and independence. In Western North Carolina, a popular area for retirement, building with aging in place principles in mind (even when you don’t plan to age in the home) can dramatically improve a home’s resale value. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the concept of aging in place and provide you with valuable insights, tips, and recommendations to transform your home into a haven that meets your evolving requirements.
Understanding Aging in Place
Aging in place refers to the ability to live comfortably and safely in one’s own home as they get older, even as physical and cognitive abilities may change. This involves making thoughtful modifications and design choices that cater to your present and future needs, ensuring that you can maintain your desired lifestyle and mobility throughout the years.
Designing for Accessibility
Widened hallways make for easier navigation.
Photo: Ryan Theede
Entrances and Exits
The first step towards creating an age-friendly home is to ensure easy access to your property. Widening doorways, leaving room for the installation of ramps in the future, and installing handrails at age-in-place height can make a significant difference in promoting mobility and independence.
Bathrooms are often high-risk areas for slips and falls. To enhance safety, consider installing grab bars, non-slip flooring, and a walk-in shower with a bench. Additionally, incorporating adjustable-height features, such as raised toilets and sinks, can accommodate varying needs.
Kitchens can be modified to enhance accessibility and convenience. Opt for lower countertops, pull-out shelves, and lever-handled faucets to minimize the need for excessive bending or reaching. Installing task lighting and contrasting colors can also aid visibility.
Choose flooring materials that are slip-resistant and easy to navigate, such as low-pile carpet, cork, or hardwood with a matte finish. In considering your interior decorating, ensure any loose rugs are securely fastened to the floor to prevent tripping hazards.
Enhancing Safety and Security
Every appliance in this kitchen was specially designed to allow the homeowners to
continue using their kitchen for many years to come.
Photo: Ryan Theede
Adequate lighting is essential in maintaining a safe environment. Ensure a well-lit home by incorporating a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Motion-sensor lights can be especially helpful for nighttime navigation.
Smart Home Technology
Embrace the benefits of smart home devices to enhance safety and security. Install smart door locks, security cameras, and voice-controlled systems that allow for easy operation and monitoring.
Plan for emergencies by installing smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and a comprehensive home security system. Keep emergency contact numbers readily available, and consider incorporating a panic button or a medical alert system.
Creating Comfortable and Accessible Spaces
Photo: Ryan Theede
Open Floor Plans
Open floor plans promote better mobility and allow for smoother navigation throughout the house. By removing unnecessary walls and creating wider pathways, you can ensure a more inclusive and accessible living environment.
Elevators and Lifts
If your home has multiple levels, installing an elevator or lift can offer greater convenience and accessibility, eliminating the need to navigate stairs. We often draw strategic closets into our home plans that can later be transformed to elevator shafts when and if needed.
Consider installing adjustable beds, ample lighting, and bedside controls for ease of use. Ensure that there is enough space to maneuver mobility aids and that closets and storage areas are accessible and well-organized.
Outdoor Living Spaces
Don’t forget to create accessible outdoor areas where you can relax and enjoy nature. Design features such as ramps, level pathways, and comfortable seating can make your outdoor spaces more inviting and user-friendly.
Embracing Style and Personalization
Photo: Ryan Theede
Color and Contrast
Incorporate contrasting colors in your home design to aid visibility and orientation. This can be achieved through color schemes, contrasting furniture, and appropriate use of lighting.
Choose furniture that is both stylish and functional. Look for pieces with features like adjustable heights, ergonomic designs, and easy-to-operate mechanisms.
Art and Décor
Enhance the aesthetics of your home with artwork and décor that reflects your personality. Ensure that wall-mounted displays are within eye level, and avoid clutter that may hinder movement.
Creating a home that embraces aging in place is a transformative journey that involves thoughtful planning, attention to detail, and a focus on personalized solutions. The construction and design professionals at Buchanan Construction are committed to helping you make your dream of aging in place a reality. By implementing the tips and recommendations shared in this guide, you can transform your home into a haven that not only supports your evolving needs but also reflects your unique style and personality. Remember, your home is your sanctuary, and it should always embrace your future!