As I talk with people about the focus of Northstar Construction, the question is often asked of me, “What is Aging in Place?”
At it’s most basic level, Aging in Place is a term for independent senior living. The CDC defines Aging in Place as: Living in one’s own home safely, comfortably and independently irrespective of age, ability level or income. The AARP recently released a study showing that 83% of middle-aged Americans wish to live in their homes indefinitely. Additionally, AARP found that currently, 23 million Americans are caring for elderly parents. And this figure is expected to double over the next 20 years.
This means that most Americans wish to stay in their homes as they age, and that more and more elderly adults are living at home, or in the home of their children while being cared for by their children.
Safely and comfortably Aging in Place requires planning and forethought with construction and remodeling. Construction professionals who are trained in this area of specialization can help. Common areas that are addressed are: Installation of grab bars in hallways and bathrooms, improved lighting, replacing door knobs with levers, or push/pull latchsets – Soss has just released a very nice latchset called “Ultralatch.” (Our next post will look at the Ultralatch in more depth)
If a person is constructing a new home, it is wise to include Aging in Place principles in the design of the home. Considerations such as: 36″ wide interior doors, blocking installed in walls for future grab bar placement, sufficient turning radius in bathrooms, and low threshold entries.
With careful remodeling and new construction planning, homeowners can remain in their homes throughout their maturing years. The statistics show that Aging in Place is something we should all consider and prepare our homes for. Please feel free to contact us at Northstar Construction to see how we can help you design and implement your Aging in Place upgrades for your new or existing home. www.northstarconstruct.com