Are you thinking about remodeling home ideas for your aging parents?
Most of us assume that home remodeling would be too costly.
Come to think of it, 55% of fall injuries happen at home. And 25% of hospital admissions are related to falling injuries.
That’s why it makes more sense to invest in home remodeling to keep our aging parents safe.
So today, we’re going to talk about remodeling home ideas.
Most houses today are designed to meet the needs and preferences of active individuals.
And often, they are unsuitable, even dangerous for our seniors.
Some elderly may have chronic conditions such as arthritis, visual or hearing impairments, and other illnesses affecting their health.
This may make it difficult for them to carry out routine duties at home.
In most cases, universal design characteristics can apply to new or existing houses.
According to the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD), universal design pertains to making buildings and establishments more accessible to all, regardless of age, size, and disability.
Universal design is an inclusive philosophy. It creates solutions that will work for all and addresses all stages of human life.
The concept allows builders and designers to think about all users and encourages them to think outside the box.
Check out this video from Mashable.com
The problem is, universal design is not fully embraced worldwide. In the US alone, there are twice as many mobility-challenged individuals as home that are accessible.
Statistics show that only 6.6 million homes are livable for people with moderate mobility difficulties.
The good news is, newer homes made in the 2000s are now becoming more accessible.
Unfortunately, most homes built earlier do not have the safety and mobility features.
A Harvard article shows that most homes do not have accessibility for older people. And millions of seniors also find it difficult to afford their current housing units and renovations.
Some even find it challenging to identify home modification needs in their own homes.
Read more about aging-in-place remodeling guidelines here.
There are a lot of myths floating around concerning house plans for aging in place.
However, simply believing them could cause you more harm than good.
So, let’s read on and debunk these five misconceptions about home remodeling.
Safety and fall prevention are the most important considerations when upgrading homes for aging in place.
However, the design of aging-in-place should go beyond safety upgrades to create a comfortable environment.
Designing for comfort in aging in place remodeling includes looking for solutions to alleviate any pain that a typical home setting can cause.
For example, those aging parents who have arthritic conditions.
According to the Center for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), almost 50% of adults over 65 years old have arthritis pain.
Even if your aging parents do not have arthritis, their hands are likely to become weary and uncomfortable as they age.
Putting improvements in place now to reduce or prevent arthritic pain later should be at the top of any aging-in-place renovations priority list.
The universal design philosophy addresses the needs of people from cradle to grave.
That means everyone can benefit from these renovations, not only seniors in the home.
The basics like well-lit hallways and properly stored wiring and cords are practical.
Trips and falls can be dangerous for any person at any age. So it makes sense to adopt these tips to keep everyone in the family safe.
Families with kids or those with mobility issues will also benefit from wide doors and zero-step entrances.
The goal is for the whole family to experience ease and comfort while keeping everyone accident-free.
Of course, the extent of any remodeling will be determined by the size of your current home.
However, many typical house features can be modified or updated to meet the safety requirements of an aging-in-place home.
It’s not restricted to complete remodeling.
Technologies such as Wi-Fi-connected thermostats, smart refrigerators, and even video-enabled doorbells qualify for aging-in-place remodels.
These features make it easier to manage the home, especially those with limited mobility.
You can also choose to remodel one room at a time. Think of the most accident-prone areas like the bathroom and kitchen and start from there.
Numerous aging-in-place features are equally appealing.
Recessed lighting is a great example.
It can be found above primary in living areas, master bathrooms, and kitchens in nearly every new residential building project.
You could still create a warm and welcoming environment at home while keeping it safe.
The point of remodeling is to make sure the home is livable and aesthetically pleasing as well. You want your parents to have enough air circulation, ample lighting, and a good amount of space.
You can also choose the right colors that could assist in regulating positive emotions in them as well.
Ask for their favorite colors and their opinions on what they want to add. Doing this will encourage them to take ownership of their place.
Most would think remodeling homes for aging in place lower the home's resale value.
Truth is, it's the other way around.
It is said that households with people aged 65 and above will increase by 75% until 2030. Demands for home plans for aging in place will also increase in the foreseeable future.
Younger people and those with special needs would want to have a comfortable home fitted with their conveniences.
And they will see the value of remodeled homes when the time comes.
Home remodeling can be a joyful experience for most.
However, as you juggle budget and design choices, remodeling projects may also bring a fair amount of stress.
Fortunately, here are a few points to consider before jumping in with renovations.
It’s understood that budgeting for a renovation may be a complicated process, whether you plan to modify a house before moving in or remodeling your current home.
It will help you make better choices on remodeling features once you have a basic idea of how much money is available to spend.
Remember that most renovations end up costing more than anticipated.
So set aside some funds in case of unexpected expenses.
To create a budget, you can follow these steps:
There are also financing options available for those who have limited funds.
Some families consider a reverse mortgage or home equity line of credit for expenses related to aging in place remodeling.
Non-profit organizations like Rebuilding Together also offer financial aid and volunteer labor for low-income houses and older adults.
If there’s one room in your aging-in-place house where you should spend money, it’s the bathroom.
That’s because accidents in the bathroom result in more severe injuries than anywhere else in the house.
A barrier free or "curbless" shower is a great way to improve safety and reduce fall risk in the bathroom.
Non-slip floors and ADA-compliant faucets and fixtures are also two essential areas to focus on while renovating your aging-in-place bathroom.
Next, consider which parts of the house your elders spend the most time in.
Do they spend time outdoors in a garden? Are they more of a bookworm? Do they enjoy watching TV?
Remodeling homes don’t always need to be expensive. Sometimes it takes a matter of organizing and getting rid of clutter.
Other times, it could be adding assistive technology to specific parts of the house.
What matters most is making a choice that makes sense to the elder aging in place.
Another thing to keep in mind while modifying a home to make it more senior-friendly is that contractors specialize in aging-in-place remodeling.
Some changes that will make your home more comfortable for seniors may seem small and easy enough for you to do it independently.
However, it’s always a good idea to have someone get things professionally done.
Some designers and contractors specializing in house modifications for the elderly may renovate or create an environment with every convenience.
The Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists, or CAPS, specialize in helping people age in place.
Consider hiring a CAPS to assist you with making improvements to your house so that your elderly parents can age in place.
You can also ask healthcare practitioners to guide you about the changes you should consider.
It pays to consult physical therapists and occupational therapists for their recommendations. They can give you standards and other home improvement ideas for aging in place.
It helps to have a checklist of what to remodel to make budgeting and planning much easier.
Knowing what to check keeps your senior’s future health challenges in mind.
This will also help you understand and prepare for their needs and keep them living independently as long as possible.
When it comes to the budget, the checklists can give you an idea of how much to prepare. And if you need assistance or grants, it will also be easier to plot.
Download the free checklists for remodeling home ideas below.
Remodeling home ideas has one goal in mind. And that is to keep our aging parents living comfortably and independently.
It doesn’t always need to be expensive. Sometimes all you need to do is identify the right space to maximize.
And if you’re out of budget, you just need to know where to go to ask for help.
That's all for today.
Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!