Everyone has a different idea for how they would prefer to Live the Life You Choose—especially when it comes to getting older.
Some people may want to reconnect with their children (and grandchildren!) and move into adjoining “mother-in-law apartments” on the property. Others may want to live out their retirement sipping cocktails poolside in a Margaritaville Retirement Community. (Yes, that’s a real thing now.) But maybe you love where you are already and aren’t interested in moving anytime soon.
If that’s the case, it’s time to consider what it would take for you to safely and successfully age in place.
What is Aging in Place?
According to the CDC, aging in place is “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably—regardless of age, income, or ability level.” That is, it’s the ability to remain safely and independently in your own home as you age.
For many, aging in place may require changes of products, services, and conveniences over time. Depending on your current living situation, considerations for aging in place may include home remodeling, daily living and healthy aging activities, financial services, accessible transportation, or in-home care.
How do I Prepare My Home for Aging in Place?
The New York Times reported that 80% of older people are homeowners. The great majority of those live in single-family homes. However, less than 4% of homes are properly suited for the disabilities common in later life.
The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard names three important accessibility features that allow people to move safely around their living spaces: entrances without steps, single-floor living, and wide hallways and doorways that can accommodate wheelchairs. In addition, the National Association of Home Builders reports that the most common aging-in-place modifications requested were bathroom grab bars and higher toilets. Also requested were curbless showers, widened doorways, and added lighting.
As you remodel over time, consider adding these features as you can.
How do I Know the Home I am Purchasing will be Appropriate for Aging in Place?
Homes built with or influenced by universal design are the most appropriate for buyers planning to age in place over time. Principles of universal design focus both the inside and outside of the home on safety, ease of movement, and attractive design for all ages and abilities. In other words, universal design is “ageless design” that does not require much specialization should your living needs change over time.
If you’ve walked through your dream retirement home and aren’t sure if it includes the accessibilities listed above, one local organization is in place to help. Asheville’s R.L. Mace Universal Design Institute is a nonprofit that evaluates existing buildings and collaborates with builders and manufacturers on the development of new design solutions.
Begin Your Accessible Home Search Today
If you’re looking for the perfect accessible home in Western North Carolina, look no further than Beverly-Hanks & Associates. Now, you can receive special alerts any time a home matching your criteria enters the market. All you need is a Beverly-Hanks My Account.
Search now for your perfect home. Refine the search to meet your other needs, then save the search. You can even change how often you receive alerts, so you’re getting exactly as many updates as you want. When you find the home you think is right for you, consult your Beverly-Hanks REALTORⓇ to make sure it has all the features you need for aging in place.
Contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about buying homes and land in Western North Carolina.
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— Beverly-Hanks WNC (@beverlyhanks) June 16, 2017