Aging in place design is becoming a popular choice among seniors and, while it certainly requires some thoughtful changes in home design and function, it most certainly does not mean converting the home into a series of sterile, hospital-like rooms, as any Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) will tell you.
While design function and universal design are tantamount to aging in place design, there are plenty of creative ways to implement both purpose and aesthetic into your home.
Aging in place design ideas
- A wall-mount sink that protrudes beyond the counter and cabinetry allows easy access, plenty of knee-room and a unique style.
- Recessed tub – Low bathtubs are standard in aging in place design (barrier free, walk-in showers are better), but that’s no reason to sacrifice depth. Recessed tub design sets your tub into the floor so that getting in and out is as easy as possible, all without sacrificing the all encompassing luxury of a warm bath.
- Solar carports kill two birds with one stone. First of all, you get the advantage of covered parking and entry to the home. At the same time you are generating free and low-maintenance electricity! There are many other ways to incorporate solar energy into the home as well. Solar energy systems are hassle-free ways to keep warm, brightly lit, and comfortable without struggling with high energy bills, as so many seniors unfortunately do.
- Heat recovery ventilators are an excellent choice for any home, yet as we grow older the importance of clean indoor air only grows. heat recovery ventilators recirculate heat from exhaust air back into the inflowing fresh air, increasing air quality and saving energy.
- Natural light is key to warm, healthy, and easy aging in place design. You can, however, get creative with your wall of windows. Consider such features as stained-glass transom windows, glass block sidelights and more. Natural light, or daylighting, reduces the headache of searching for light switches, saves energy on lighting and provides valuable (as in free) solar heating.
image courtesy of Kohler US
These are all great "aging-in-place" tips– also, one may want to consider a medical alert system which can help seniors reach help, in the case of a fall. We do all we can to prevent them, but falls still occur in the most accessible of homes, so to fully protect your senior loved one, having a medical alert system installed will ensure if something does happen, help can be contacted when necessary.