By 2030, there will be 132 million American adults aged 50 and over. Currently, there is not enough physically accessible housing to accommodate the future needs of aging Baby Boomers. Add to the equation that the oldest of Generation X will hit retirement age around 2030, and we have the makings of full-blown accessible housing crises.
Staying in their current home is a logical and desirable plan for aging Boomers. Passing that home onto their children is a real desire. Remodeling these homes for accessibility – also known as universal design – is a cost-effective solution for parents and those who may inherit the home.
When the average cost of a nursing home is $4,000 – $7,000 a month, adding accessibility features to a home can be a more affordable solution. Even older homes with a mortgage may fare better than renters or those with nursing home or assisted living costs.
Who Benefits From Accessible Projects?
Remodeling a home for accessibility lets one stay in the home they love for a lifetime. It benefits their sense of security, comfort and quality of life. And because universal design makes good sense for people of all generations, many features can increase the future re-sale value of the home.
Accessible design is not only for the homeowner – it also benefits the family that takes care of aging parents. A house that enables easy access for caregivers and visitors creates the same type of supportive environment that costs so much in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
The Features of an Accessible Home
There are 5 key features that make a home easier to access for the aging and their caregivers:
• No-step entries
• Single-floor living
• Wide doorways and halls
• Accessible electrical switches and outlets
• Lever-style door handles and faucets
Accessible design benefits everyone who comes into the home. A mother with a baby stroller, a teenager on crutches and someone in a wheelchair will all benefit from:
• Built-in porch ramps
• Low-clearance thresholds
• Extra-wide doorways
• Friction-free flooring
Adults of all ages benefit from these universal bathroom features:
• Walk-in shower with bench seating
• No-slip flooring
• Comfort-height toilets
From a grandparent to a grandchild, everyone can use these accessible kitchen features:
• Pot-filler faucet
• Task lighting
• Table-height work surfaces with pull-out shelving
Plan Now for Easier Living in the Future
The absolute best time to do accessible remodeling projects is before it’s needed. Between the ages of 50 – 70, adding accessible features into current remodeling projects saves the family from having to deal with it at a potentially stressful time in the future. And even the youngest homeowners will find that universal design features always come in handy somewhere down the road.
The Certified Aging In-Place Specialists and Universal Design Certified Professionals at Mosby Building Arts help people stay in the home they love. Let them help anticipate future challenges, build accessible features with care and quality, and create beautiful spaces to enjoy now and for years to come.
See examples of Mosby’s St. Louis accessible design projects. And to get started exploring the possibilities, call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.