Skip to content

Going Geriatric

June 28, 2011

Just like our lifestyles, our homes are adapting as we age in place.  Fewer of us can simply cash out and buy a Snow Bird paradise.  If you are living at your home into your 70s, this could mean planning for an elevator or it could mean thinking about where a new septic system needs to be located to accommodate a future ground floor bedroom.  Perhaps the family room can become that bedroom – planning where an access ramp could go or allowing for wide doors and easy passage between rooms just makes sense.

Single-family homes have no code requirement for handicapped accessibility.  In fact, the vast majority of people who have limited mobility do not use wheelchairs.  Walkers, canes and even just slower, more cautious movement is the rule for most people of a certain age and given the nature of the Boomer Generation the overall level of fitness will mean that designing in a “7-11” (7 inch rise and 11 inch tread) stair with railings on both sides will probably answer the needs of most people planning to spend the foreseeable future in a multi-story home.

But there is a new phenomenon in renovation that supports the ability for your home to retrofit an elevator, ramp, etc:  resale. While there are more of them now, there are fewer houses that have Master Bedrooms downstairs.  Kitchens or baths that have the ability to allow people with limited mobility to see that they have a future in a home into the out decades are remarkable features.  The more you prepare for those late times or your long-term occupancy , the more it will open up the market of your house for a future sale.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: