Aging In Place & Universal Design
By 2030, nearly one in five Americans will be over age 65. Today, more than 35 million Americans are age 65 or above – a tenfold increase in the 65 and over population since 1900.
In past generations, it was assumed that when an individual or a couple reached a certain age, they were expected to move into a senior living facility, retirement home, or move in with their children. That is not necessarily the case anymore. Many seniors still enjoy an active and high-quality retirement, and it isn’t always necessary to give up their autonomy or their home.
A growing specialty within the remodeling industry called Aging in Place allows active seniors to stay in their homes longer. Aging in Place (also known as Universal Design) is a design approach that seeks to create environments and systems that can be used by as many people as possible and adapts the home to the physical needs of its occupants.
Sea Pointe Construction works with Universal Design techniques such as installing a barrier free walk-in shower in the bathroom, adding motion sensor lights to all the rooms in the house, placing aesthetically pleasing grab bars in the bedrooms and bathrooms for balance and assistance, putting in a lift on stairs, and even installing an elevator between floors.
With several certified Aging In Place specialists on staff, Sea Pointe Construction can help you design and construct a remodel that is tailored to your family’s specific needs.
What is Aging in Place?
The focus of Aging In Place is to help you ensure that you can live in the residence of your choice as you age while getting any services or support you need over time as your needs change. However, it is more than just that. The goal of an elderly person (or anyone) wanting to age in place should be to maintain and/or improve their quality of life. In order to do that, a good plan that focuses on your quality of life and covers yourself, home, finances, care and other items should be created as early as possible. Your plan should be maintained over time as your situation changes.
Aging brings changes to us all. As a person begins their aging in place experience, it is important for them to consider and plan for the changes that will happen to them and what impacts these changes will have on their lives. As we age, our bodies and capabilities change. Examples of changes you may experience are:
- Reduced vision
- Decreased muscle strength or endurance
- Reduced mental processing capabilities
- Increased risk of falls due to balance
- Increased risk of illness
- Reduced hearing
- Decreased mobility
These changes happen to most everyone in one form or another. Knowing that this is the case and choosing to have a plan to age in place means you will have a greater chance to control your quality of life and independence.
The impact of these changes can be seen in the daily life of an elderly person. While your physical capabilities lessen and demand change, this can impact many of your daily activities, such as:
- Getting around their home as easily
- Driving safely
- Home upkeep
- Health maintenance
- Many others
Planning also presents you with an opportunity to lessen the burden on your family by outlining how and where your needs are met.