Nashville, TN -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/21/2013 -- The simplest definition for Aging in Place is leading a healthy and engaging life at home for as long as one would like. While this sounds easy enough, there is one huge barrier that almost all Americans desiring to Age in Place have to overcome. That barrier is their own home.
While we work hard to prepare ourselves for retirement in our senior years we may forget, or not know how, to prepare our homes to age with us. Our homes should be a safe haven where we feel comfortable and independent. Unfortunately, the reality is that as we grow older our homes look more like an obstacle course than a place of rest.
In America, Aging in Place has become a movement that demands more national attention as our population continues to age. Increased awareness of the option to Age in Place has helped Americans consider how they will age in a different way.
AARP Statistics: Who is Aging in Place?
An AARP survey for Baby Boomers found that 89% of respondents age 55 and over desired to stay in their current residence as long as possible. With increased availability for home and community-based services and assistive technologies, more Americans are including Aging in Place in their future plans.
Currently there are 77 million Baby Boomers and this huge influx of aging Americans will represent a 79% increase in the 65+ population over the next 20 years. A reasonable conjecture: this influx of aging Americans will result in an increase in the number of Americans who will Age in Place.
Why Should I Make My Home Aging in Place Friendly?
Put simply, never be caught off guard. We never know when mom and dad may need to move in to have an extra eye on them, or worst case scenario, a traumatic event causes a change in our needs. Waiting to remodel your home until the need is immediate will only cause more stress for all parties involved.
Additionally, there are financial and social benefits to retrofitting your home for Aging in Place. Not only will the value of the home increase, but the property will be more marketable when it comes time to sell. Aging in Place features should incorporate Universal Design elements, which make the home safer and more functional for persons of all ages and abilities, without sacrificing beauty.
Home Modifications for Seniors: Results
A potential result is a kitchen designed with superior functionality for the young and the old, the short and the tall, and everyone in between: no stretching for something in the cupboard, no bending to reach into the oven, and no countertops that are uncomfortably too high or low.
Another outcome may be an accessible entry accommodating to all, including loved ones in wheelchairs and walkers, along with mothers pushing baby strollers and family members bringing in new furniture or large appliances on wheeled dollies.
One last result may be a bathroom engineered for safety and comfort, including a beautiful and open shower with no threshold to climb over, a taller toilet that relieves stress on the knees, and textured tile to keep wet feet from slipping after a shower.
These are just a few examples of a home redesigned with Aging in Place in mind; the benefits are innumerable.
When Should I Prepare my Home to Age in Place?
The earlier one prepares, the better. Remember the old adage, “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” Most of us would never consider retirement without including a financial plan to get us there. Why should our homes be any different? Some may think, “I’m only 45; I don’t need to start thinking about how to prepare my home for Aging in Place,” but the reality is that it is never too early to prepare.
How to Age in Place
The first step in equipping a home for Aging in Place is to arrange for a Home Livability Assessment. This assessment will provide a comprehensive evaluation of your home and identify areas for improvement based on your current and projected needs. Working within your budget, a Home Livability Consultant can prioritize the most pressing issues to be addressed and pair you with vetted home professionals who are best suited for your project. During the remodeling process a Home Livability Consultant acts as your advocate to ensure that your vendors deliver the highest quality of service and complete your project to your satisfaction.
About A Better Nes
A Better Nest is a privately owned company based in Nashville, TN that is dedicated to helping seniors and families make their home environments simpler, safer, and more livable. A Better Nest helps seniors age in place through livability assessments, home modifications, vendor relations and communication liaisons. A Better Nest helps individuals modify their living spaces to meet their current and long-term needs.
Community Relations Manager for A Better Nest
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