Aging in Place: Designing Homes for Comfort, Safety, and Independence

Building a custom home is an exciting opportunity to create a space that is tailored to your needs and lifestyle. However, if you or a loved one plans to age in place in your new home, there are specific features that should be considered to ensure that it remains safe and comfortable for years to come. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important features to consider when building a custom home for aging in place in Northeast, Ohio.

Single-Level Living

One of the most critical features to consider for aging in place is a single level living design. This layout means that all essential areas, including bedrooms, bathrooms, and common spaces, are located on the same floor, eliminating the need for stairs. Stairs can be challenging and dangerous for those with mobility issues, and a single level living design provides the necessary convenience and safety for aging in place.

Wide Doorways and Hallways

Another essential feature to consider is the width of doorways and hallways. To accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility devices, it is crucial to have wider doorways and hallways throughout the home. A standard doorway is around 30 inches wide, while a wheelchair requires a minimum of 32 inches to pass through comfortably. For hallways, a width of at least 36 inches is recommended to allow for easy navigation.

Easy Access Showers and Tubs

Bathrooms are one of the most dangerous rooms in the home for those with mobility issues. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the design and layout of the bathroom, including the shower and tub. Installing an easy access shower or walk-in tub with grab bars and non-slip flooring is essential for those with limited mobility. This feature also allows for independent living and eliminates the need for assistance when bathing.

Non-Slip Flooring

Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Therefore, it is crucial to choose non-slip flooring throughout the home, particularly in high-risk areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. Non-slip flooring provides traction and reduces the risk of slips and falls, ensuring that the home remains safe and comfortable for aging in place.

Lever Door Handles and Faucets

Traditional doorknobs and faucets can be challenging to operate for those with arthritis or limited hand strength. Lever door handles and faucets are an excellent alternative, providing easy operation with minimal effort. Installing these features throughout the home ensures that every aspect of the space is easily accessible for aging in place.

Ample Lighting

It is essential to consider the lighting throughout the home. Adequate lighting is crucial for those with visual impairments or limited mobility, providing visibility and reducing the risk of falls. Installing a mix of natural and artificial lighting, including task lighting in high-risk areas, ensures that the home remains safe and comfortable for aging in place.

Zero Entry Doors

Another critical feature to consider when building a custom home for aging in place is zero-entry doors into the house from the garage and exterior. A zero-entry door is flush with the ground, eliminating the need for a step or threshold. This design feature is particularly useful for those with mobility issues or who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Zero-entry doors provide easy access into the home and reduce the risk of trips and falls, ensuring that the space remains safe and comfortable for aging in place. Additionally, a zero-entry door also makes it easier to move larger items such as furniture or appliances into the home, providing added convenience for homeowners.

Building the Future of Aging in Place with a Custom Home

Aging in place is a trend that is gaining popularity in Northeast Ohio, and custom home builders have a unique opportunity to design homes that are well-suited for this lifestyle. By incorporating elements such as single level living, wide doorways and hallways, easy access showers and tubs, non-slip flooring, lever door handles and faucets, and ample lighting, custom homes can provide a safe and comfortable living environment for older adults. Additionally, custom homes offer the flexibility to adapt to changing needs over time, ensuring that homeowners can age in place with confidence and independence. As custom home builders, it’s our responsibility to create homes that support aging in place and provide a foundation for a fulfilling life in the later years. By building the future of aging in place, we can help ensure that our clients can continue to enjoy their homes and their lives for many years to come.

Contact us today to start your journey home.


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