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How Ready Is Your Home for Aging in Place?

Category: Home and Garden

Aging-in-Place Remodeling, Minor Modifications Gaining Popularity, According to NAHB Survey

— May 1 -The past five years have seen increases in the number of remodelers engaged in aging-in-place home modifications and home owner awareness of these types of remodeling projects, according to a survey by NAHB Remodelers, the remodeling arm of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Released today as a kick off to National Home Remodeling Month, it also revealed that simple and less costly modifications are increasing in popularity. Also called universal design principles, these ideas are can make life safer and easier.

“Low-cost, simple modifications to help people be safer and more comfortable in their homes, such as installing grab bars and higher toilets, continue to be the most popular aging-in-place remodeling projects,” said 2017 NAHB Remodelers Chair Dan Bawden, a remodeler from Houston. “A professional remodeler can make recommendations to homeowners that meet both their lifestyle and budget needs.”

According to the survey, 80 percent of remodeling companies are doing aging-in-place projects, up from 68 percent in 2013. Remodelers reporting that “most” of their customers were familiar with the aging-in-place concept increased from 11 percent in 2013 to 17 percent in 2016.

What projects are gaining in popularity?
The five aging-in-place remodeling projects that saw the largest increases since 2013 were:

·Added lighting/task lighting increased 12 percent
·Curb-less showers increased 9 percent
·Grab bars increased 7 percent
·Non-slip floors increased 7 percent
·Widening doorways increased 5 percent

More complex and costly projects saw minor decreases in popularity since 2013. Adding an entry-level bedroom dropped one point to 33 percent, and installing ramps or lowering thresholds decreased two points to 49 percent.

Bottom line
If you plan on staying on your home in retirement it makes a lot of sense to make simple aging in place improvements now. You never know when an injury might make it hard for you to walk up stairs. More importantly, accidents happen to even the most careful person. A slip or fall that could have been prevented can easily ruin all your retirement plans in an instant – don’t let it happen to you!

If your plans involve moving from your existing home, it is even more critical to look for a product that incorporates these features. First floor master bedrooms, one level living with no steps, accessible counter heights, non-slip floors, wide doors, door handle levers rather than knobs – all these features are much more inexpensive if they come with your home, rather than adapting later.

See these articles for more aging in place ideas:
Women-Centric Homes Driving 50+ Market
Make Your Retirement Easier with These Simple Improvements
Baby Boomers: Plan Now to Avoid Out-Aging Your Home

Comments? What have done to make your home ready for your retirement years? Please share your plans and experiences in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on May 1st, 2017


  1. Here’s a handy checklist from the National Association of Home Builders:

    Some builders are stacking closets in multi-story homes so that the closets can become an elevator shaft if the
    resident(s) can no longer maneuver the steps.

    by Jan Cullinane — May 2, 2017

  2. I recently had a hip replacement. This required a few weeks of using a walker. I found my home entrance doors into the bathroom were only 32″ wide. Walkers need a minimum of a 36″ door. Big problem!

    Also two story homes are out! Make sure you have a first floor master with accessible bathrooms.

    Toilet seat height was also critical as seat to low are impossible to stand up from

    Just some thoughts to consider

    by Ron — May 3, 2017

  3. To enter a too-narrow doorway with a walker, turn the walker sideways.

    To rise from a too-low toilet, use a grab bar or a device which puts handles on either side of the toilet. Practice rising from a chair regularly as part of your daily exercise; this exercise strengthens the core. If possible, do as much as you can before surgery to establish a good baseline of strength; this will make recovery better. To rise from a chair or seat, move butt forward, then bow (“Bow to the queen.) and rise. Swing arms forward if necessary, or push up with chair’s arms.

    by Ann Boyer — May 3, 2017

  4. I have never heard of non-slip flooring used in a home, as suggested in this article for ” staying in place”.
    Can anyone give me a few examples of on-the-market products and where in the home they might be used?

    by Sandra Danforth — May 4, 2017

  5. I bought a walker off the shelf recently from CVS or Walgreens and it was 22″ wide. The entrance to our downstairs bathroom is 25″ which is narrow but workable. Cannot find a wheel chair that can pass through but have found a transport chair that just barely makes it.

    by Jim C — May 4, 2017

  6. Sandra, if you search on the Internet for non-slip flooring you will come up with some products. Much of it has to do with increasing friction on the surface. But another big part is putting rugs with non-slip backings down in areas that get wet – like at the sink or in the bathroom. Some cloth throw rugs are actually a problem unless they have some kind of backing to keep them in place. Carpet is generally a lot less slippery than tiles or wood floors.

    by Admin — May 4, 2017

  7. I’ve been surprised at how few 55+ developers offer aging in place packages, such as grab bars near toilets, comfort-height toilets, elevated washers-dryers, etc. The only thing that I’ve noted lately is that many of them are eliminating large or jetted tubs as an option in 55+ homes, presumably on the theory that old people shouldn’t take baths due to the risk of falling.

    I have found very inexpensive toilet safety rails on Amazon, which assist signficantly with risng even from comfort height toilets. They just get installed under the toilet seat. Another issue with the newer 55+ homes though is putting commodes into a separate “closet.” While this closet might be convenient for couples, the little cubby where it’s tucked might be too narrow to use safety rails.

    by Kate — May 5, 2017

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