Current Trends Show Living At Home Is Where Its At

My current research shows that what I like to call Super Aging Baby Boomers, are indicating that their preference for growing older(at least for living conditions) is trending towards staying in their homes.  Consequently, there are businesses that are becoming more available that combine a safety, and a design aesthetic to meet their growing needs.

Recently, the Washington Post wrote an article about a couple who decided to stay in their home. the wife was in her sixties and her husband in his seventies.  They engaged a design firm to help them remodel their home to better meet their needs as they grow older.  I was impressed by how far design firms have come in the past five years. There are so many thoughtful items other than putting safety bars in the bathroom!

                           Thoughtful Ways To Make Staying In Place Safer. 

The Maryland couple took a 2,200 square foot home, and totally transformed it into one they love even more than the original. The firm they used approached their project by incorporating convenience, safety and beauty.  Common denominators for safe homes for Super Aging baby boomers include living one one floor, widening passageways and doorways, enlarging bathrooms and making sure there is at least one stepless entry way.

Additional features that ensure a happy lifestyle in the future incorporate smooth flooring, excellent lighting, comfortable commodes, windows and shades that operate easily, safe and easy to use appliances, and stairs with hand rails and shallow steps.

The largest part of this couples project was opening up the floor plan in their home.They took out three load bearing walls and placed overhead beams to support the second story.  This really changed drastically the open look they wanted.   The kitchen and sunroom needed to be opened up. By removing the walls they added 200 square feet and added a cathedral ceiling and recessed lighting.  Also, they decided to take a small first floor room and bath and transform it into a master suite with easy access.

The removal of an interior wall allowed them to merge some hall space into their living room which resulted in the width of the room being enlarged by four feet. Removal of the stair wall also was beneficial in opening up their kitchen and eating space.

The design firm also thought to remodel the first floor powder room to allow for two entrances and make it more spacious.  The bathroom is open and encompasses a wet room complete with a customized bench and an adjustable shower head.  The drain is designed to ensure the water is drained quickly.  Bathroom sinks and counter space are all placed at a comfortable and easy to use height.  I have become aware of commodes that are not only of a more user friendly height, but have remote control lids and seats. Also, some do even more!

How can a kitchen be made more user friendly?  These homeowners wanted openness more than anything.  The kitchen and sunroom were designed for easy access and the cabinets and drawers are located below the counters in an accessible way.  Roll out drawers and pulls that are horizontal make it easy to open and close them.  The induction cooktop is not hot to prevent accidents, and other controls for it are in front and located in a chair accessible location.

                                         Favorite Home Improvement 

You won’t believe what their favorite improvement turns out to be!  They have a central vacuum system. I am only familiar with central air so this one blew me away!  Each room is set up with retractable hoses.

So, all these advancements sound ideal for people wanting to remain in their homes. The open floor plan is one that allows for a design aesthetic that is pleasing to the eye and doesn’t scream: an old person lives here!