Senior citizens make up the country's fastest-growing population, according to the latest U.S. census results. They’re outpacing the growth of the general population at a rate of 15.1 percent to 9.7 percent, and the total number of individuals over 65 is projected to nearly double before 2050.

When considering new projects, take a cue from commercial standards when modifying your home. Resulting from passage of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, there are some relatively simple ways to accommodate an elderly person.

What are the lessons? It is important to design accessible, comfortable and safe spaces so that seniors can live independently and with dignity in their own homes. With that in mind we’ve prepared an aging in place design checklist to make sure you cover all the most important design rules that Cardano Goodson can consider when aging in place is a consideration.

General Design

Before going into the aging in place design checklist for the bathroom and kitchen, here’s a list of the overall rules to follow when designing a space for accessibility and safety. These rules apply to any room, including the general layout of the house.

• Open floor plan with few obstructions
• New lighting systems
• Larger window
• Specific colors (proper contrasting to aid with depth perception)
• No-step entries
• Wider doorways (min. 36 inches)
• No throw rugs (tripping hazard)
• Ramp installation
• Lever-style door handles
• Bathroom Design

Bathrooms

It is extremely important to customize a bathroom for someone who is aging or has disabilities because bathrooms are prone to causing accidents. Due to their ceramic flooring and slippery surfaces, bathrooms are the cause of roughly 235,000 accidents in the U.S. alone per year.

• Adjusting toilet height or installing a seat extender
• Grab bars near toilet and in bath/shower
• Shower seat
• Anti-slip coating in tub/shower
• Slip-resistant floor treatment
• Walk-in shower/tub
• Handheld showerhead

Kitchen Design

When re-designing a kitchen for the elderly, you want to ensure ease of use and fluidity. You should not install cabinets that cannot be reached, and you need to make sure all appliances are properly positioned so that you don’t have to move around too much.

• Adjusting height of sink
• Shallow sink
• Hands-free faucet
• Pull-out pantry
• Storage inside refrigerator door
• Front-mounted controls on cooktop
• D-shaped cabinet pulls
• Under-cabinet lighting
• Round edges for countertops
• Sink close to stove
• Large drawers
• Microwave at counter height

Want to consider a remodel that considers what’s best for aging in place. Reach out to us to get a conversation started!

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