It’s no secret that our nation’s population is aging. And with that comes certain challenges to how we live our lives, especially where we spend a large portion of our time – in our homes.
Boomers driving change
The baby boomer generation began turning 65 in 2011. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, by 2029, when all baby boomers will be 65 years and older, more than 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be over the age of 65.
These population trends are evident in Northeast Georgia too, with new active adult and assisted living/memory care communities popping up seemingly every month. In a study by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government for Vision2030 called “Gainesville in Focus,” Hall County’s numbers will outpace the national average, with its 65 and older population expected to approach 25 percent by 2020 and exceed 30 percent by 2030.
At Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling, we’re seeing these trends bear out. More and more people are approaching us with thoughts of renovating their homes to accommodate aging parents or to equip themselves to live independently as they grow older.
What does “age-in-place” design encompass?
One of the key features of age-in-place design is accessibility. As we age, things we never thought about before – sink and bath handles, the width of doorways – are more noticeable. The day-to-day activities we previously completed without a thought become progressively more inconvenient.
Another important consideration is safety. Not all falls can be prevented, but smart age-in-place renovations could go a long way toward preventing accidents when it comes to the ones we love. Making sure all stairs have sturdy handrails, adding ramps for easier accessibility, or adding grab bars and nonslip surfaces in bathrooms are just a few things you can do to make your home safer.
Think outside of the box
The National Association of Homebuilders has a handy checklist for everything you might think of when it comes to age-in-place considerations, from installing low-maintenance shrubs to slip-resistant flooring and lever-style faucet handles.
We can’t emphasize enough that age-in-place renovations don’t have to be sterile or compromise beautiful design. Aging in place doesn’t mean your home will soon resemble a nursing home. In fact, the opposite can be true, especially if you hire an experienced age-in-place remodeler who can incorporate accessibility and safety features into the design.
Have a question about age-in-place remodeling or adding on to your existing home? At Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling, we are age-in-place experts who can walk you through each step of the process, from consultation to design planning and construction. Contact us today!