Accessibility features becoming more important to homeowners
In recent years households have been moving toward more flexible uses of space. This includes an open space layout, often with informal family space integrated into kitchen space. Informality in home layouts also has become more popular.
Not insignificantly, the trend toward opening up the interior of the home with fewer walls dividing spaces, tends to make the home more accessible to mobility impaired persons. The trend to include accessibility in home design and remodels fits right in. In-home accessibility (wider hallways, fewer steps, and a more open layout) is reported as increasing in popularity, while accessibility into-and-out of the home (ramps and on-grade entrances) is becoming more popular as well.
Source of data: http://www.aia.org/practicing/AIAB103887.
In the past, contractors often had to educate clients about the value of accessibility, sometimes called universal design, a term that covers barrier-free access for people of all ages and abilities, but a growing number of adult 50 and older are already aware of such modifications. Some are already providing care to others and so can already see the benefits of accessible design.
Homeowners do not want to face the hard decisions they had to make with family members. They want to be safe and enjoy a beautiful home for a long time.