The goal of universal design is to ensure that people of all abilities may fully and independently enjoy their built environment.
One of the forefathers of universal design, was the first to design a lowered kerb for wheelchairs, hence its roots may be traced back to the field of accessible architecture.
Still, people who hope to age in place will find support from universal design principles.
Due to the increased longevity of the general population, homes that can accommodate many generations of a family are becoming increasingly desirable. Sometimes, even when we're far into old age, we still have parents around.
Contemporary architects and designers aim to create homes that can grow with their inhabitants, making it unnecessary to create distinct floor designs for each period of life (like senior citizen homes and starter homes) in the process. Taking this tack means that "retirement house plans may also be suitable for younger generations and can avert the need to relocate down the road. A few well-considered additions to the house make it accessible to people of varying physical abilities.
There are a few advantages for those who choose multi-generational house ideas. To begin, you'll be able to remain in your home for a longer period of time if it's universally constructed to accommodate your evolving needs and preferences. Few people look forward to the day they have to move into a nursing home.
In addition, multi-generational home layouts command a premium in the real estate market due to the rising demand for homes with designated areas for ageing parents and other relatives who may not fit into the standard floor plan for a retirement home.
It appears that the universal design is likewise liked by everyone. Plus, the architecture of a multi-generational home will remain current for longer, reducing the need for renovations and relocation, making it more sustainable.
Six Steps To Ageing In Place Gracefully
Do a safety check of your house.
The first step is to make your private residence (a home, apartment, or townhouse) as barrier-free and simple to navigate as possible.
Prevent future injuries by conducting a home safety inspection. The AARP has compiled a list of simple upgrades that may be made to a home to make it more secure for the whole family.
Features like these make it easier for those with mobility issues to get around their homes safely and independently.
Prioritise Your Health
If you want to prolong the time you can spend living alone and safely in your own home, taking care of your health is essential.
To avoid potentially fatal diseases like heart disease, arthritis, dementia, and depression, it's important to keep up a heart-healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet, frequent exercise, and stress reduction.
Make A Transportation Plan.
One of the various ways to get around town is by car but getting out and about in your neighbourhood is crucial.
Get to know the local taxi companies and ride-sharing services like Lyft, as well as any public transportation options, as well as any friends or relatives who might be able to help you out with trips.
If you want to keep in touch with people all over the world, you don't have to learn how to code.
Staying in touch while relaxing on the couch is as easy as how to use your phone or digital tablet's texting and video screen sharing apps. Find out about local events and activities and use convenient services like grocery delivery and cabs.
Look Into Long-term Care Insurance.
As we age, our health care requirements change, and even those of us who choose to age in place will likely require long-term assistance at some point.
Considering alternatives like long-term care insurance may be helpful because Medicare does not cover continuous long-term care in the home.
When it comes time to consider a caregiver at home, having this sort of insurance to help pay for the expense of care that is typically not covered by health insurance or Medicare can make a significant difference.
Make A Care Plan.
It's important to think ahead about who will be available to provide care for you at home if you ever need it, and it's also helpful to save money in case you do.
Created for those who are currently in good health but who recognise the importance of planning for their future requirements as they age. Signing up today will give you the confidence that you have someone to contact in case of an emergency or if you simply feel like you could use some assistance around the house. Getting enrolled won't set you back anything.
What Support Can Help Me Age At Home?
Almost any kind of assistance you could need can be provided right in the comfort of your own home, but it can cost you.
You can contact your local Area Agency on Aging, local and State departments on ageing or social services, tribal organisation, or senior centre for more details on many of the services mentioned below.
Do you find it more challenging to perform daily hygiene tasks like showering, cleaning your hair, or getting dressed? Perhaps you have a friend or relative who could assist you. You might also engage a professional helper to assist you for a few hours daily.
Do you have errands like cleaning, yardwork, shopping, or laundry that you need assistance with? Many retail establishments now provide telephone ordering and home delivery, including supermarkets and medicine stores.
You can ask around for recommendations for cleaners and gardeners, or just hire a service. Laundry assistance is available from some housekeepers. Clothing pickup and delivery services are offered by several dry cleaners.
What if you aren't getting enough nutrition or are sick of eating by yourself? It's fun to have a friend over and prepare a meal together, or to get a lot of friends together and have a potluck. Investigate whether or not any local churches or senior centres offer meals to the community.
Having a meal away from home might be a great way to socialise with others. Do you find it challenging to leave your house? Have someone deliver you a balanced dinner a couple times a week. Some meal delivery programmes are free or provide discounted rates for delivering hot meals directly to your home.
Are you concerned about being late on bill payments or not concerned at all? Is it difficult to understand health insurance paperwork? It's possible you could get some assistance with these projects. Seek assistance from a reliable relative. Geriatric care managers, financial advisors, and volunteers might also be of assistance.
Just make sure the reference comes from somewhere reliable, like your local Area Agency on Aging. If you have access to a computer, you can utilise that to settle your financial obligations. To learn more about this potential banking choice, consult with them. Many people have their mortgage or rent deducted automatically from their bank account each month.
Be Careful To Avoid Money Scams.
Never give out personal information over the phone (until you initiated the call) or by email (unless you initiated the contact). Inspect your monthly utility bill, as well as any other invoices you get, for any unauthorised expenditures.
Even if you don't believe you'll ever need it, it's a good idea to consider letting a trusted friend or family member deal with your credit card companies, medical providers, and other financial institutions. Research the importance of financial and legal planning for the elderly.
Do you routinely overlook your medication? To help you remember when it's time to take your medication, there are devices on the market that can serve as reminders. The weeks' worth of medication can be prepared in advance with the help of special pill packs. Recently discharged from the hospital but still in need of some nursing assistance at home. Medicare may cover the cost of a home health aide, and the hospital discharge planner will help you set everything up.
Try taking a companion to your doctor appointments if you have trouble keeping track of your doctor's instructions. If you're on your own, have the doctor put all instructions in writing; if you have a group with you, have everyone write down what you're required to do.
Improvements Tips to Get Your House Ready for Your Next Age
Limit The Steps
Possessing a simple entryway and exit is a must for any dwelling. However, it's crucial for elderly homeowners, especially those with mobility concerns.
Remodelling your home's exterior? Try to come up with a way to enter without stairs, say the pros.
It doesn't have to resemble a ramp for the disabled; rather, a gentle slope leading up to the entrance will do if there's room. Ramps, walkways, and decks should all be constructed with non-slip materials for safety. In addition, a no-threshold entry door is preferable to one with a threshold since it eliminates the potential for falls.
Go Low Maintenance
Vinyl siding, metal roofing, and composite decking are just a few examples of low-maintenance exterior materials that are worth considering when it comes time to replace worn out cladding and worn-out windows.
They will be aesthetically pleasing and functionally reliable. Selecting native plants and setting up a watering system with a timer will further lessen the time spent on landscape upkeep.
Cabinets with roll-out shelves are a convenient addition to any kitchen since they allow for easy access to the contents. In addition, use drawers instead of base cabinets.
Using them will eliminate the need to rummage around in the back of cupboards to find what you need. Installing a dishwasher at a height of 12 inches can help you avoid back strain from stooping down too often to load dishes.
A standard dining counter height is 29 to 30 inches, making it more appropriate for dining chairs than bar stools.
Choose Smart Appliances
Smart and programmable appliances, such as stoves that beep when turned on or have illuminated controls, continue to see significant advancements in their design from today's leading manufacturers.
Due to age-related vision loss or simple forgetfulness, these might be a great aid to elderly households.
Important to the success of ageing-in-place renovations is the use of home automation; sensors and timers can detect house systems to notify homeowners and care and security providers of any issues.
Make sure there is no threshold or step in your walk-in shower by upgrading to a zero-clearance shower. Including a stool is also recommended.
Comfort-height toilets are somewhat taller than conventional toilets and are therefore simpler to enter and exit. Their height is comparable to that of a standard dining chair.
Get an occupational therapist and a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), a designation awarded by the National Association of Home Builders, as well as some bars strategically positioned so that you can grip on to them to support yourself or pull yourself upright.
Fixtures that allow for touchless or hands-free operation are a great choice for sinks in the bathroom and kitchen.
Having a pull-out spout on your kitchen faucet can make washing dishes and preparing food much easier. Choose a bath faucet with a temperature gauge to avoid getting burned.
Ditch The Throw Rugs
Throw rugs, especially the small ones, can cause serious accidents due to their size. Search for area rugs with a non-slip backing if you must have them. Or, even better, instal wall-to-wall carpeting.
Many modern flooring options have been developed that are both slip-resistant and aesthetically pleasing.
Master The Stairs
No building can function without a second story, and while stairs are a necessary evil, they may be made safer and more pleasant to use. Cover them with a nonslip material and, if at all possible, add a second bannister along the opposite wall.
If you want people to feel safe after using the stairs, you could want to put a chair at the top or bottom.
Up The Lighting
As we age, our eyesight deteriorates, making it all the more crucial to provide illumination whenever possible. Using a combination of focal, ambient, task, and decorative lighting to address these needs is known as "layered lighting."
More lights should be installed in areas that are difficult to see in and typically dark, such as stairwells, corridors, restrooms, and kitchens. Light switches and outlet placement outside of rooms should be evaluated.
First-Floor Master Bedroom
An architect and co-author of Home Design in an Aging World and Unassisted Living advises that if you're planning a large remodel, you should include a bedroom on the lower level that may become the master bedroom in the future.
Chapman believes the room can serve as a den or guest room. However, make sure the space is ready to be used as a bedroom in the event that you or your spouse become physically unable to utilise the stairs in the future.
FAQs About House Plan
Wright and the Ageing in Place guide emphasise how subtle design choices can profoundly impact how long you can comfortably live in your own home without compromising your aesthetic aims. Opt for mechanisms that are easier to operate when mobility is impaired. For example, choose door levers over doorknobs.
Moreover, multi-generational home designs fetch an increased price on the housing market because more and more people want their homes to incorporate space for extended family, which may not be available in universal retirement house plans. Universal design is also universally appealing, it seems.
Getting in and out of bed and getting dressed can be a hassle for anyone who has a disability or for older adults with back or hip problems. Home designers should consider all these factors when designing a bedroom for ageing in place. This ageing-in-place design checklist wouldn’t be complete without tips for designing a laundry room.
Make sure there's a place to sit while you cook. As you age, it may become increasingly difficult to stand for extended periods. So, you propose a mobile island that can be moved to make space for a wheelchair or walker.
This can be adult children living with their parents through the addition of grandparents and great-grandparents. Intergenerational living is by no means a new concept. It is a very traditional way of living and is considered the norm in many cultures.