August 05, 2013

Renovations For Aging At Home

Housing renovations are on the rise in 2013 and one reason is the Baby Boomers. Not only is this generation getting older but many of their parents need assistance with daily life. Unfortunately homes are not always built to accommodate ailments that come along with aging, such as arthritis, vision and hearing loss and other ailments. This has led to a new trend of home renovation which accommodates to these people, homes that make daily living possible and comfortable. While enjoying the golden years of their life Baby Boomers are also thinking about continuing to live at home as they get older and this has led to the trend in remodeling homes to specific needs of aging people.


There are many different renovations that can be customized for each home to make it functional for aging in place. Home renovations that accommodate for aging disabilities can add value and functionality to a home and doesn’t have to make your home look like a hospital.  A main focus for most people is the bathroom. Even though the bathroom is a room we spend a significant amount or time many contractors and remodelers are also seeing several other trends in remodeling homes for an aging generation and report approximately half their clientele are asking for more bedrooms, in-law suits or guest houses, hobby rooms and additions onto their homes.


Updating the bathroom can not only add functionality and comfort but also a modern style to the home. Replacing the floors in the bathroom to a non-slip surface is a major concern for many people, and while you’re doing this consider adding a Thermo-soft heated floor system for comfort. The bathtub/shower area is another main focus of the bathroom. Bathtubs can be very difficult for people to get in and out of and can cause major safety hazards.  For people with arthritis taking a warm bath can be very soothing to the joints and stiff areas. There are several companies that make bathtubs with side doors so that you do not have to climb in and out you can simply walk into the bath. Benches are also something to consider adding to a shower area, these can be convenient and safer for people of all ages. Adding grab bars by the toilet and in the shower area will also increase accessibility. Consider replacing draw handles and knobs with levers for easier access for those with decreased dexterity. If you are adding these changes to your bathroom you can choose from a large array of styles that can tie the bathroom together.


Creating more functional space can accommodate for several family scenarios. While making more space for recreation to enjoy retirement some Baby Boomers may have their children and children’s children move back home making more space necessary. Others may have their aging parents move in to their homes requiring another bedroom, in-law apartment, or addition. The extra space created can also be used for themselves in the future for instance if they need to move a caregiver in or finally get that hobby room they have wanted. According to the National Association of Home Builders, almost 45% of all U.S. households will include someone who is 55 or older by the year 2020.


There are many more options for renovating your home for an aging life style. “These types of updates are wise investments for Baby Boomers. They often increase the overall value of a home while also giving the homeowner the peace of mind that they’ll be able to enjoy the space well into the future.” –Jim Quinn, installation manager for Premier Care in Bathing. Nearly 90% of older Americans want to stay in their current homes as they age*, and who wouldn’t?

*According to an AARP’s national experts on independent living and aging issues.