Aging in Place Solutions
The NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) has reported that modification of homes for aging-in-place is the fastest growing segment of the residential remodeling industry. NAHB collaborated with AARP to develop the Certified Aging-in-Place (CAPS) program to meet the increasing demand by senior and baby boomers for barrier-free living environments.
The U.S. government’s Administration on Aging, states that by 2030 there will be approximately 71.5 million Americans over the age of 65. There is a growing segment of the remodeling industry dedicated to assisting the increase of an aging residential population to remain in their homes.
Bath remodelers are tuning in to the mechanics of assessing a client’s needs and integrating all the factors needed to provide an aesthetically pleasing, functional solution. The solutions include installing bath and shower grab bars, tub-to-shower conversions, walk-in tubs, shower seats and other safety features that aid when reduced eyesight, lack of flexibility and poorer balance become issues.
NAHB’s CAPS program is designed to teach individuals involved in residential design and construction about the needs of older adults who are balancing current and future needs for autonomy and independence with safety and security.
Aging-in-place modifications are being incorporated in something called Universal Design. This design concept is used for both remodel and new construction. It includes things such as grading entry points to the home to create step-free entrances, accessible floor plans (such as wider hallways for wheelchair access), and for new construction, universal designed kitchens and bathrooms as well as stacking closets so that elevators can be installed in the future.
Home modifications can ease the physical challenges we all face without turning the home into a clinical setting. Innovative companies like Kohler are using universal design principles combined with beautiful aesthetics for non-stigmatizing results.
Assessing the needs of the homeowner and developing the right solution means a remodeler can expand their current source of business while providing needed services to those who wish to remain in their homeas long as possible.