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There’s No Place Like Home: Designing to Age in Place

Dorothy had it right in the classic Wizard of Oz: There truly is no place like home. This is the mindset many seniors are adopting as they decide where they want to live as they age. A 2018 AARP study reported that more than 75% of Americans who are 50 years of age and older desire to remain in their current home or community.

Aging in place involves taking practical steps to create a safe and functional home. However, aging in place design takes these practical steps to a new level of style and sophistication. This approach allows for day-to-day living that is enjoyable, beautiful, and functional, instead of limiting. 

Designing for Aging in Place 

According to the National Association of Home Builders, 75% of remodelers have reported an increase in remodels related to aging in place. In fact, 36% of people surveyed in AARP’s study stated they already planned to make changes to their home to adapt to aging. Because aging in place is as on par of a trend as downsizing, the National Association of Home Builders actually have their own Aging-in-Place Remodeling Checklist to help those wanting to continue living in their homes. They advocate for changes like no-step entryways, as well as hallways and doorways that are 3-feet wide. 

There are also many recommendations related to lighting; smart home solutions like smart lighting with central control via an app or voice-activation is one example. Using energy-efficient LED bulbs requires less work in switching out bulbs and can pair with the aforementioned automatic options as well as motion sensors. Any light switches should be rocker-style as well as three feet from the floor. 

Other possible modifications include:

  • Slip-resistant, non-glare flooring 
  • High contrast in colors and textures where surface levels change
  • Stairways and hallways that are at least 42 inches wide
  • Wall outlets three feet from the floor
  • Secure and stable handrails on staircases and landings (hello, design feature!)
  • Audible or visual strobe lights that go off when the phone, doorbell, or interior detectors go off 

Remodel for Your Needs 

An interior designer is the perfect partner to help make the right adjustments when you or your loved ones are considering to age in place. We can work with contractors and other professionals to keep your specific concerns in mind. Fill out WPL Interior Design’s Project Inquiry form today to see how we can support your home remodeling today. 

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