Including aging in place features for your home isn’t the most fun thing to consider in the home building process. But planning for the future will help ensure you, your family, and your home age well together. Here are some aging in place features you should consider when building your home.
Keep Floor Plan Open
Narrow hallways, doorways, and compartmentalized rooms are classic design features, but they don’t work well as you age. An open floor plan makes it easy to access various areas of the home, including if you need a walker or wheelchair. Open floor plans also tend to incorporate smooth transitions from one room to the next, eliminating tripping hazards and easily accommodating walking devices.
Functional Kitchen Design
The kitchen is one of the most important and trafficked parts of your home, so make sure it can age with you. Include a surface where you can sit to prepare meals as standing for a long period of time may become more difficult as you age. Kitchen islands with bar seating are perfect for this. Also, avoid installing cabinets over stovetops. Leaning over hot surfaces can be a hazard, especially when your balance may become impaired. Pull-out drawers underneath your countertops will not only avoid that hazard but limit the amount of time you need to crouch down. With pull-out drawers, you can see all your pots, pans, or spices. No need to get down on your knees to reach in the back of your cabinet!
Don’t Forget the Bathroom
A modern walk-in shower not only looks cool, but it’s a great aging in place feature as well. This will make it easy to shower in your home as you age. Consider also incorporating a seat into the design as well. You can place shower products or use them for footing while shaving when you’re younger and use them to help you shower as you get older. A handy trick to keep in mind for your walk-in shower is to use a floor tile that contrasts against the wall tiling. Not only will it look chic and modern, but as you age, you’ll easily be able to distinguish between the walls and floor.
It’s really all in the details that can help your home age in place with you. Opt for door levers rather than doorknobs as they’re easier to operate when mobility is impaired. Light switches with a rocker panel are easier to use than a toggle switch as there’s more surface area.
Another thing to think about is how technology can help with aging in place. Front door locks, lighting, and some thermostats can be controlled with a smartphone. This can make those things easier to operate as you get older. However, if you decide to go this route, keep in mind maintenance requirements, malfunctions that may occur, and if your tech can be operated on a larger screen, like a tablet.
Let’s Build Your Home
As you age, you need your home to be comfortable and age with you. Installing the appropriate aging in place features is essential, so trust the right people to do the job. At Ridgeline Homes, we’ll take your needs and create a home perfect for you so you can live in it comfortably as you age. We’re based in Montrose, Colorado, and are ready to start this exciting process with you.