Aging in Place

Aging In Place Remodeling on the Rise

By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs

Forget Feng Shui, the new trend in remodeling is Aging in Place. Today, many homeowners are asking for remodeling improvements to make their homes safer and more comfortable as they age because they do not want to move or lose independence. The thought is that by retrofitting the home, people can “age in place” and not have to move to assisted living facilities.

According to the AARP, 89% of people over the age of 50 wish to remain in their own homes indefinitely. This can often be achieved with a few minor modifications. With Aging in Place design the overall goal is to make the home safer and more barrier-free, as well as more convenient.

The bathroom is the number one place for accidents in the home, so it is important to make Aging in Place adjustments in the bathroom. Some of the easier modifications include installing grab bars in the shower, changing out the fixtures to lever handle faucets and anti-scald, temperature and pressure balanced tub shower valves, or installing higher toilets with non-slam seats and lids. The services of a contractor are required for other projects, such as upgrading to a curb-less shower (nothing to step over and can be rolled into if a wheelchair becomes necessary) or a walk-in bathtub (with a gated-door and seat).

Changes can be made in the kitchen to make meal preparation and eating easier. Again, there are simple solutions such as installing a lever-handle faucet with pull-out spray or larger cabinet and drawer pulls, as well as those that involve more complex renovations, such as installing pull-out shelves.

There are even Aging in Place considerations to keep in mind when purchasing or replacing appliances. Homeowners should consider a side-by-side refrigerator with slide-out shelves and a water/ice dispenser, a cooktop with controls in the front, a lower, side-opening oven, and a raised dishwasher to avoid back strain. It’s also a good idea to consider a raised front-loading washer and dryer in the laundry room.

There are many other Aging in Place options for the rest of the house. Insider, use non-slip flooring, enhance lighting, and install lever-style door handles. Outside, an attractive ramp or zero-step entrance to the house is recommended. If this is not possible, make sure you have a handrail on the steps or porch. And make sure the entryway and all walkways are well lit.

While the bulk of Aging in Place remodeling is done by homeowners over the age of 55, it is something everyone should consider. These modifications not only make it easier for visiting older relatives, but for the homeowners as well. By making the modifications now, you can ensure that you will be able to “age in place”.

Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to lilmargie38@aol.com or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319. For more information visit www.royalkitchendesigns.com