Building a Home for the Ages

  • Home Buying Tips
  • Friday, February 23, 2018

Universally designed multi-generational house plans and layouts are becoming more and more popular with baby boomers living longer and entering their retirement years at a rapid rate. As our nation ages, accessibility is becoming an important factor for many new home buyers, as they want to make sure that their home will meet their needs – or those of their aging family – in the future. 

Plan for Future Needs

It’s hard to think about what kind of needs you or your parent will have in the future, but keeping in mind that being able-bodied may not always be the case. Having wider hallways and doorways, a walk-in shower with grab bars, spacious living areas are all important considerations that will allow for wheelchairs or walkers in the future should any member of your family need them.

Think Outside the Box

When thinking about aging in place, ensure you look outside the house itself and assess your lot and neighbourhood. Is the area walkable? Would you be able to visit a friend or neighbour without having to drive? Is the community walkable enough or well connected to public transit in case you are unable to drive in the future?

Lighting for Safe and Secure Homes

Properly lighted areas will ensure a safe home. You do not want to suffer the agony of a bad fall because of poor visibility in a dimly-lit home. Pay close attention to outdoor areas, reading spaces, bathrooms and stairways.

Interior Design Considerations

When decorating, keep in mind that certain furnishing will pose a greater risk to older residents in the home. For example, a rug or carpet over a tiled floor may be slippery, so placing a carpet underlay can prevent slipping and tripping.

It’s the Little Things

Even small changes like swapping out round doorknobs for accessible and arthritis-friendly door levers will make a significant impact to living comfortably at home. Switching out traditional carbon monoxide detectors with ones that flash with a strobe light for the hearing impaired may even save a life someday. 

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