Design for Now and Later
One doesn’t have to be a baby boomer to consider their home’s accessibility for aging in place. In fact, it’s never too soon to consider renovations that lend themselves to optimal convenience and minimal maintenance at any age – especially with budgets slimmer in retirement.
That added accessibility doesn’t have to compromise style, either, given the impressive strides being made in adaptable space design for all age brackets.
Take kitchens, for instance. The simple elimination or reduction of wall cabinetry can not only make the room feel brighter and more spacious but it also makes that kitchen more functional as we lose mobility. Modern cabinetry is also more efficient in storage capability than ever before. So the right kitchen remodel can bring everything you need within reach for everyone – from children learning to cook through frenzied career jugglers and seniors.
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What are other considerations homeowners can take when accommodating their own or the market’s demand for aging in place features and functionality? Think open floor plans with appliances and facilities at a comfortable height. Recessed or sliding doors can provide incredible esthetics while eliminating that grip and tucking them out of a wheelchair or walkers way. Raised dishwashers along with comfort-height ovens and microwaves further eliminate the need to bend or reach.
In the bathroom, open-knee vanities accommodate either a stylish chair or wheelchair, easily and indiscernibly adapting to changing needs over time. And for that no-threshold shower that you’ve eyed for its panache? You now have one more reason to splurge thanks to its safety and ease down the road. Additional ideas include lever or loop handles that are easily gripped and pulled, a laundry chute, slip-resistant flooring, and ample lighting at entries, hallways, in the shower stall, and in closets.