Home Features for Aging in Place
Tags: building a home
If you’re building a home that you plan to live in past retirement, it’s wise to consider including home features for aging in place. That way, you’ll be able to stay in your own home and community where you can continue to live independently as long as possible. Sharp Homes is a top luxury home builder in Wichita, Kansas, and we frequently help our clients design and build homes they can live in well into their golden years.
What is Aging in Place?
Aging in place is simply staying in one’s own home rather than moving in with family members or moving to an assisted living or long-term care facility. The key to staying in your home for as long as possible is ensuring it is safe and accessible, with an interior design and features that allow you to complete activities of daily living independently. This includes things like eliminating trip hazards, choosing finishes that can be seen if vision worsens, and incorporating features that can accommodate future mobility issues.
Home Features for Aging in Place Safely and Comfortably
When someone intends to age in place, they want a home that accommodates their needs in their later years. Often this is a time older adults consider downsizing their homes to better suit their lifestyle. Whether you’re building a new home, buying an existing home, or you plan to stay in your current home, we’ve put together a list of features and finishes that can make it easier to maintain your independence without sacrificing safety or comfort.
At the very least, consider a single-level home, also referred to as a slab on grade or a patio home. These home styles have either a low step or a zero-step entry. Here in Kansas, tornadoes are a real risk, so having a built-in storm shelter on a single level home will add peace of mind while eliminating the hazards of climbing stairs. Sharp Homes does offer a basement option for a patio-style home. Keep in mind, however, if your home has stairs, a chair lift may become a necessity at some point.
Bathroom Features & Finishes
- Handheld showerhead
- Shower seat
- Anti-slip coating on shower floor
- Grab bars in the bathroom
- Walk-in shower instead of a bathtub
- Taller toilets
- Slip-resistant floors
- Taller countertops
- Hands-free faucets
Kitchen Features & Finishes
- Pull-out shelves in pantry
- Shallow kitchen sink
- Counters with rounded corners
- Counter-height microwave
- Large, front mounted stove knobs
Whole House Features & Finishes
- Doorways at least 36 inches wide
- Colors that provide contrast to help with depth perception
- D-shaped cabinet handles and drawer pulls
- Zero-step entry
- Spacious garage
- Storm shelter on the main level
- Wide doorways and hallways
- Lever-style door handles
- Cabinets that are easy to open and close
- Lower shelves so everything’s within reach
- Bright closet lighting
- Open floor plan
- Rocker light switches
Consider a Patio Home
Designs and features in patio homes make living easier than living in a standard home. A patio home is a good independent living option to reduce the need for a care home. This way of living offers more privacy and luxuries as we age without sacrificing comfort.
Patio homes, sometimes called slab on grade or garden homes, are zero-entry-styled homes built on a single floor without steps for easy navigation with fewer hazards. Often, you can choose a single-family patio home or a duplex. In either case, you will typically have a garage and private outdoor area like a small yard with a patio or deck. The outdoor maintenance like mowing and snow removal is typically taken care of, which is a big plus.