Saying a home will anticipate your needs sounds like we’re talking about artificially intelligent (AI) houses. Although you can find Internet-connected fridges that shop for items you run out of, we’re not quite at AI homes just yet. Instead, this article explores aging in place design. This strategic home design anticipates conveniences you could need to stay in your home as you grow older.
Aging in place design embraces universal design principles with a focus on making your home environment safe and comfortable at any age. Smart technology can be part of the design. For example, installing thermostats or lighting that you can control from a smartphone or app while remaining seated. Yet, there are many more ways that homes built with aging in place in mind construct a home that can accommodate changes as you age.
“America is a nation in which the dominant household type, accounting for about 30 percent of households, consists of single adults living alone,” AARP notes in its HomeFit Guide. Yet the housing stock wasn’t built for “a rapidly changing and rapidly aging population.”
Aging in place design is meant to help homeowners remain in their homes longer, comfortably and safely. Choices are made to accommodate residents of all ages and abilities by removing barriers within the home.
Homes designed with aging in place features can look as aesthetically pleasing and welcoming as any other home. Yet, throughout the house you’ll see a variety of accommodations already incorporated into the design. This section rounds up the types of choices you might see in different areas of the home.
Throughout the home you can expect to see design elements such as:
Another idea you could see is closets stacked above one another in a multi-story home to provide a shaft for a future elevator.
Many innovative ideas in the kitchen can help support aging in place too. You might see:
When thinking about how the aging in place bedroom will look, consider the value of:
Architectural Digest notes, wainscoting, chair rails or shelves protruding from walls can aid with balance too. But they must be securely attached to the wall and thick enough to grip. You might also think about incorporating greater contrast between floor and wall colors and avoiding strong patterns or shiny surfaces which can interfere with depth perception.
Various accommodations in the bathroom can help provide independent quality of life, with safety prioritized. Options include:
Aging in place doesn’t have to mean staying inside all day. Keep outdoor access in mind as well, When making long-term plans, think about incorporating:
Because each client is different, aging-in-place solutions are not one-size-fits-all. It’s good to work with a custom builder, such as Saussy Burbank, to address your individual concerns. Our Cottages at Marvin Gardens featured 25 single-family residences in an age-restricted (55 and up) community in the village of Marvin, North Carolina. Or join other retirees in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in our new Sayebrook community homes.