25 Jul Design for Aging in Place
Over the years, I’ve noticed there are a significant amount of people moving to the gorge to retire. I’ve been hired by many, who are retired or would be shortly. Often, I find that they are retiring yet building a new home that does not meet their needs or at least not for long. There are many design elements to keep in mind when designing for people who plan to age in that home.
- Single level homes are important. Stairs can often be hazardous later in life, or at least a pain to use and clean.
- Large hallways are a must. You never know when your partner or yourself could be in a wheelchair. Not always long term but sometimes recovering from surgery or a accident. If you do not have wider hallways or 3′ doors then this could be a massive struggle. Wide door ways are also essential for aging in place. Either a wheelchair or walker are almost impossible to navigate a 32″ door. A 36″ wide door or large is a necessity.
- Grab bars… Yes, I know they make you think of your grandma…. but hey, their a lot better that biffing it in the shower! My parents in their (50’s) have recovered from a few surgeries and decided to put grab bars in their shower. It’s better to add these features before they are a necessity! Much less stressful to do before.
- Choose level door handles instead of knobs. They are much easier to use and grab.
- Low thresholds in flooring. Low pile carpeting and hard surfaces are best.
These are just a few of the important items to remember when designing for aging in place. They will help the space function better for all people. Also, known as barrier free design.
Hopefully these tips were helpful!
Cheers from the gorge! Off to go paddle boarding! It’s too nice outside!