New Home Design Trends That Adapt to Aging :: WRAL.com
As you age, your home may no longer meet your needs, but moving may no longer interest you. In fact, 76% of baby boomers own their own home, and more than half don’t plan to buy another in the future, according to a Chase Bank study.
“Nearly nine in ten Boomers survey respondents are looking to make improvements to their current homes, suggesting they’re in it for the long haul,” according to the research.
Fortunately, several home design trends can keep your home safe and comfortable for years to come.
Master suite on the ground floor
Eliminating the need to frequently go up and down stairs could be a priority. By creating a master suite on the ground floor of your home, you can easily access necessities without adding stress to joints or risking a fall.
If you have an office, separate living room, or even a downstairs garage, you can work with a contractor to turn the space into a bedroom.
Antimicrobial materials and finishes
According to Forbes, antimicrobial materials can be found in copper flooring, paint, and fixtures. One change you can make is to install cork flooring, which has the added benefit of being water resistant and will help prevent mold in damp areas like the kitchen or bathroom.
Another change is to install quartz countertops, which lack the cracks and joints of other materials and are therefore easy to clean.
“Although marble countertops are very trendy, they are not the most practical finish because it is a porous stone that scratches easily,” according to Forbes. “When countertops are scratched, bacteria can settle in those grooves, making them harder to sanitize.”
Zero threshold showers
Raising one leg to get into a shower can be dangerous, so you can eliminate this step to avoid tripping and slipping.
“A zero-threshold shower allows a person to continue to manage their own hygiene without assistance, and it makes it easier to manage any type of mobility issue,” according to Home Stratosphere. “Wheelchair? No problem. Walker? He can be handled.
Ventilation or self-regulating lighting
Some small tasks become major inconveniences when mobility or memory is an issue. For example, walking across a room to bed after turning off the light can be cumbersome, and forgetting to adjust the thermostat can lead to uncomfortable temperatures and high bills.
A simple solution is to install smart lighting, switches, outlets, thermostats and other devices. You can then control them with timers, remote controls or phone apps: you can link a light to a smart speaker and use your voice to turn it on or off from bed. You can put a thermostat on a timer. You can set a door to lock automatically after you unlock it or at certain times of the day.
Pay for home renovations
Although you will probably have to pay for some renovations, your health insurance could help.
“Depending on the nature of the modification, it may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private health insurance,” according to United Disabilities Services. “Check with your local aging region or state housing funding agency for more information on financial assistance for aging-in-place design.”
When you make the changes you need, you can expect to spend many years in a home where you will feel happy.