Aging is a fact of life, and as many people become older they need to ensure that their homes are senior friendly. Whether for yourself or older family members wanting to remain in the home they know and love, it is important to remodel for aging in place. Starting early if you are in renovation mode is a good idea.
Some areas of the house that requires special attention when preparing for aging in place are:
Doorways, Entrances, and Hallways
People of varying aging need ease of access when using doorways and entrances. This should be as easy to use for someone with a baby stroller or with a walker. When building entrances also consider not putting in steps, or if steps are needed, build those that can accommodate a wheelchair if needed. In short wider doorways are necessary. Some recommendation is that the doorway should be at least 36 inches wide.
Hallways should be a minimum of 48 inches wide to allow ease of movement by someone in a wheelchair or using a walker.
Most falls in the home happen in the bathroom. Making sure bathrooms are safe is an important part of making aging in place possible. Older people or those with disabilities will need to have the bathroom fitted with safety features such as handlebars and rails in the bath or shower. Consider height when putting in toilets.
Walk-in baths are a good choice, especially for people with mobility issues. These type of baths have grab bars, non-slip flooring, and seats for added security. The door to the bathroom also needs to be wider than standard bathroom doors.
Older people need to get around safely in the kitchen, so counters of different heights should be considered. Think about users who are in wheelchairs or who due to health issues cannot stretch. The same consideration should be given to cupboards and cabinets.
Bedrooms on the ground floor are a good idea. In addition, if the bedrooms are upstairs and you can’t add one downstairs consider putting in a stair lift or an elevator if possible.
Switches, Handles and Knobs
Larger handles and knobs on doors make them easier to manipulate by older hands. Levers and push buttons and remotes that can be used to opened doors and turn on switches is a good idea. When it comes to switches, consider the height so that they can be reached by someone in a wheelchair or mobility scooter.
Open Floor Plan
An open design in the living area and kitchen is also worth considering. It makes moving around so much espier and safer. It removes the fear of bumping into furniture when moving around.
Home Remodeling and ADA Compliance in the Greater Gaithersburg Area
Don’t get caught off guard. Start preparing early. Not only will you be prepared, but you will save money as home renovation tends to get more expensive over time.
D&M Enterprises is located in Gaithersburg, MD, but we offer whole home remodeling and home improvement services throughout northwest Washington, D.C. and several surrounding counties. Give us a call at 301-948-0100 if you’re in the greater Gaithersburg area and would like to schedule a consultation for whole home remodeling.