Aging in Place

Your home is a safe haven. A place to be with friends and family, to feel snug and secure, protected from weather and sometimes the world. But what truly makes your home safe? If you’re alone at home with an injury or if you fall, how safe do you feel? There are specific design elements that can be used in your home to make it safer, easier to live in, and more convenient. It’s called Universal Design, also known as Aging-in-Place. 

Using the Aging-in-Place design approach allows you to live gracefully in your home by having all the details of safety and comfort simultaneously considered. As a Certified as Aging-in-Place specialist, Choice Builders incorporates Universal Design features into every one of our custom homes.

A simple example is the use of door levers instead of knobs. If you or your visitors are dealing with arthritis, turning a doorknob may be difficult, but opening a door with a lever is easy. Even if you’re not arthritic, imagine how much easier it would be to open a door with your elbow when your hands are loaded up with groceries! 

Another example is how we approach the use of stairs. As we age, stairs can be difficult to navigate. Or if you're young and dealing with an injury, stairs can be tough. But how do you design for no stairs if you really want a walk-out basement? One way we minimize the effects of stairs is to put the master bedroom on the main level. If there is enough room we can put a guest room on the main level too. When you have guests who are older, or if someone in your family has a temporary mobility injury, your main-level spare room can accommodate them. 

Even if you don’t need specific Aging-in-Place attributes built into your home, using the overall principles will make your home more visitor-friendly to your parents and grandparents. Not only will the house be easy to walk into because of no steps, but there won't be steps into the shower either. Using wider doorways and wider doors is another way to make it easy to live in. 

But a safe home isn’t just about mobility, there are many other factors to consider. Lighting for example. Each room should have layers of light. Some lights provide ambient lighting, maybe even some mood lighting, while other, brighter lights, are used for general lighting. As we age, our eyes simply need more light to see effectively, and your home should be brightly lit.

How do you know if your home is being designed to be as easy to live in and as convenient as possible? One way is to look for professionals with specialized training. The National Association of Home Builders, or NAHB, has just such a certification. It’s called CAPS, or Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist. Choice Builders is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist

Contact us to talk about how to make your home safe and easier to live in.