The boomer generation has long influenced housing trends in the U.S. and, as they approach retirement age, they will continue to do so. “Aging in place,” if you are unfamiliar with the term, refers to growing old and staying in one’s home while doing so. This concept is becoming more and more important by the day.
The Tualatin Times recently took a look at this subject and offered some good basic tips:
[Lynnae] Rhoades’ [manager of Washington County Home Instead Senior Care] advice is simple: ‘Don’t skimp on safety measures. Some people have the urge to do things partially. If you want to stay at home, plan and budget for each project, and have it completed well. Make sure grab bars are secure and doors are wide enough. There’s lift chairs, several kinds of walkers, you can look at putting railings on your bed. Both from studying research and knowing seniors, I can say they thrive and are much happier in their homes.’
As a greater and greater percentage of our population moves past retirement age, these concerns will take center stage. Rhoades stated that 90% of seniors wish to remain at home, and who can blame them? I know that when the time comes, I would prefer to grow old in my own environment rather than somewhere with an institutional flavor.
Interior designer Teal Michel addressed this topic in a recent article she penned for CorneliusNews.net, a real-estate news website:
Housing trends of the past have been dominated by the needs of the Baby Boomers. Boomers will continue to influence housing trends by moving into smaller homes. Equally important, they are looking for homes they have been designed to allow for aging-in-place.
Michel then provides some solid advice on bathroom design that has aging in place as its core concept. From shower seating and proper wall grips to threshold-free showers for the wheelchair-bound, she provides a lot of good advice. Hardly shocking, considering she has won several awards from both the ASID and the Home Builder’s Association of Charlotte, NC.
We have the technology and we have the knowledge. With proper planning, aging in place is a viable option that presents the opportunity for a better quality of life.