Aging in Place is a type of design that modifies your existing home to fit your needs as they come along.
More specifically, Aging in Place consists of creating an living space that is “barrier free”, i.e., rooms, entrances and locations that minimize or eliminate barriers like stairs or steps, steep elevations or slopes, thresholds greater than ½”, and small, cluttered, or passages that just don’t work.
We will make an design a living space that will increase use, safety, security, and independence for you as they age.
Adaptable Design focuses on the problems of different people; individual differences, and changes in a homeowner’s capability over time.
It is the ability of certain building features, such as kitchen counters, sinks, and grab bars to be added to, raised, lowered, or changed to accommodate the needs of either people with or without disabilities, or to accommodate the needs of people with different types or degrees of disability.
In addition to Adaptable Design there are three other basic categories of design for Aging in Place as defined by the National Association of Home Builders;
* Universal Design – Focuses on as much of the population as possible by designing space and using products that can be used by as many people as possible.
* Accessible Design – Focuses on people with a disability by designing a space you can get around in with ease and comfort.
* Visitability Design – Focuses on wheelchair accessibility and works to create a path to or from ground floors.
How do I know what kind of Aging In Place Design I need?
The answer depends greatly on your existing needs and your needs for the future. However, there is an assessment that a Contractor performs when preparing an Aging In Place Design;
What issue, if any, is of concern, and to what extent (light, moderate or severe). We notate things like; vision, hearing, sense of feeling in arms or legs, use of hands, strength, balance, use of neck, reaching/stretching, coordination, endurance, awareness/understanding, breathing, dressing and undressing.
We will look at the existing homes entries, hallways and doorways, stairs, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living areas, storage/utility areas and parking areas and suggest improvments for the areas that are not working.
Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists
The Remodelors Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in collaboration with the NAHB Research Center, NAHB Seniors Housing Council and AARP developed the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS)program to address the needs of consumers who want to make their house a home for a lifetime – regardless of one’s age, or functional abilities.
A Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist is specially trained in:
The unique needs of older people;
Home modifications that can help people continue living independently in their homes longer;
Common remodeling projects;
Solutions to common barriers.
CAPS professionals have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically pleasing, barrier-free living environments. The CAPS program goes beyond design to address the codes and standards, common remodeling projects and their costs, product ideas and resources needed to provide comprehensive and practical aging-in-place solutions.
Promoting Independence In the Home
In the past, if someone had difficulty living by themselves, it was a signal that now was time to move in with family or go to a nursing home. But, for most people, that no longer is the case. Today, you can live on your own for many years, even as you grow older and start needing help with everyday tasks. This is called “aging in place.”
When you develop a chronic health condition, like diabetes, arthritis, or Alzheimer’s disease, aging in place means more that just staying put. You need a place to live that is safe and fits with your abilities. As driving becomes more difficult, it is important to access reliable and affordable transportation. A wide range of paid services may be available in your community. You may also want extra funds for family caregivers or for home modifications (such as a ramp or lift) that can extend the time you can live at home.
Americans of all ages value their ability to live independently. But without a plan for aging in place, it can be hard to stay in control of your life. Knowing your health risks and financial options can make a big difference in your ability to stay in a familiar place.