First be proactive in your thinking, planning and actions. Don’t wait to be reactive to an injury or disability. When planning a new remodeling project talk it over with your designer and contractor. They can guide you to what can be done to maximize your investment and your independence as you age.
Second, Aging in Place is all about being open to possibilities. Today when we hear the term “Age in Place” we think of being old and stuck in a worn out house. Well it’s often true. However, you can be proactive and have the great home you have love and remain independent for as long as you want. Write down what is important to you, who in your family can help if you needed it.
Third, plan for a sunny day. Just as you plan for your financial independent make sure you’re planning for your physical independence. Making a no step entrance to that new addition, or the bathroom just a little larger with wider doorway, can help make life easier and the home less of a barrier when there’s a permanent disability or a temporary injury like a broken leg.
Fourth, think outside the box. Design has come along way. There are products and ideas to suit everyone’s taste and budget. Simple things like grab bars are not just for the elderly, there great for little kids just learning to shower. And they come in designer shapes, colors and finishes.
Fifth, allowing your perceptions to be challenged. When planning to aging in place, it’s not always about being old. A young couple moving into a new home, planning a new life can have the same challenges as the elderly.
Aging in place is all about perceptions and what we do about it. Discussing it openly with your designer and contractor will help you understand why it’s important to be proactive, how it can save you money, and yes, be greener too. If you’re planning a remodeling project, no matter what your age or ability or you want to help out a loved one, be sure to ask about Universal Design or Aging in Place.