Aging in Place & Multigenerational Design Experts

Thoughtful multigenerational design can help homeowners and their families thrive—or age in place—as their needs evolve

Photo courtesy Adobe Stock/Bernard Bodo

As homeowners enter the “Golden Years” of their lives, finding accessible and accommodating living spaces to meet shifting needs is often challenging—and even stressful. Accessibility can be seen through more elaborate features, from a zero-entry threshold into the shower or an in-home elevator to more simplistic additions like rocker light switches or grab bars. Whatever the need, local building and design companies are continually implementing and improving ways of “aging in place” so that homeowners can stay in their memory-filled homes.

“By 2025, more than one in three homeowners will be 65 years old,” explains Rebecca Remick, owner and builder at City Homes. This means the inevitable increase in populations of nursing homes will limit the number of individuals who will be accepted—not to mention the elevated cost of private housing within assisted living facilities. As a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) builder, Remick is tuned into the relevance of the industry’s future. Some of the common challenges clients are facing include poor eyesight, bone fragility, reduced muscle mass, arthritis, and general decreased mobility.

An in-home elevator by City Homes assists the homeowner with traversing both floors of the two-story house.­

Photo by Spacecrafting

Remick says, “[Homeowners] want the ability to live in the home that they know and love, [as well as] in the community they know and love.” This yearning to stay in a familiar environment as people age is becoming more and more accessible with the help of builders like City Homes. The custom home builder offers an endless number of amenities that can give clients ease of use, safety, and security features. Some of these features include levers and grab bars to provide stability in the bathroom, motion lighting and toe-kick lighting to light a path during the night, widened hallways and doorways to allow easier access for walkers and wheelchairs, and much more. These types of home features allow homeowners—and those residing in the home—to live comfortably and independently.

Lake Country Builders is at the forefront of multigenerational design as well. Whether a homeowner is struggling with mobility issues, home maintenance, social isolation, or other safety concerns, Lake Country Builders strives to assist homeowners with feeling safe and comfortable—and most importantly, independent. By remaining at home in a familiar environment, homeowners experience less stress and anxiety; they can maintain social connections and a sense of community, and they are granted a stronger sense of control over their environment.

From home modifications to in-home care services, there are many ways to
support clients and their families in their desire to remain in their home. Lake Country Builders, a CAPS-certified company, provides services including grab bar and handrail installation, wheelchair ramps or stairlifts, widening of doorways, nonslip flooring, and other accessibility-related remodeling for kitchens and bathrooms. “We are helping our clients maintain their independence and continue living in the home they love as they age,” Lake Country Builders Marketing Director Renee Aldecocea says. “Helping our clients and making their lives better is our mission.”

Out front, a handrail installed by Lake Country Builders lines the steps to ensure a safe path to the entry.

Photo by Chuck Carver

Nowadays, there are so many modifications that promote age-friendly designs, making it easier for homeowners to stay in their space. Sheree Vincent, principal designer and owner at Fusion Designed, understands the need for accessible and adaptable designs. In the kitchen, some options for accessible designs include base cabinets with fully extendable drawers, microwave drawers, touchless faucets and soap dispensers, and more. Similarly, the bathroom is a great place for incorporating adaptable features such as built-in shower seats, slip-resistant floor tiles, bidet toilets with heated seats, and more.

Vincent’s biggest recommendation is to embrace technology. In today’s day and age, smart-home technology is becoming an integral part of aging in place and multigenerational design, allowing homeowners to stay in their homes longer and continue living independently. One smart-home upgrade to consider includes a smart hub that allows you to operate several devices through a command center, such as Alexa, Google, or Apple Home. With this hub, you can turn lights on and off, control your smart television, and other smart devices. Also, video cameras add security to homes, and video chatting allows for connecting with family and friends. Other smart-home upgrades include smart appliances, gas sensors, and activity monitors—all of which aid in both the safety and independence of homeowners and their families.

This curbless design by Fusion Designed helps to eliminate the danger of falling while entering or exiting the shower.

Photo by Ben Clasen

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