One of the amazing benefits of deciding to build a new custom home is that you have the ability to add features that will best fit your needs and make your family’s life more comfortable. This is especially true for homes with senior adults, as there are many enhancements that can make the home more accessible to them in the event of illness or injury, or just improve the overall quality of life. Here are some design tips to consider including in a custom-built home for seasoned buyers.
Account for the Difficulty of Daily Activities
Where will the residents spend most of their time at home? Things such as putting the laundry area close to the main closet make life a little bit easier if anyone in the house has limited mobility. Will the homeowner be spending time reading the paper in the breakfast nook for the majority of the morning? Do they have a green thumb and want to spend a lot of time gardening? Would they prefer a quiet spot to read in the afternoons? Consider the entire family’s lifestyle when designing a new home specifically for their needs.
Adjust the Height of Features in the Home
Did you know that as we age we lose height? Additionally, many aging adults also have joint issues in either the knees or shoulders, which means reaching for things overhead becomes much more difficult. Consider placing shelves at a height that is comfortable, choosing a higher toilet seat that makes it easier to get up and sit down, avoiding any steps into the shower, and much more.
A Guest Suite for a Potential Caregiver
Many aging adults that are purchasing a newly constructed home are starting to choose this option, in the event that they will need a live-in caregiver in the future. The guest suite, complete with an en suite bathroom, allows a live-in caregiver to feel comfortable, which helps the homeowners maintain their independence and remain in their home after an illness or serious injury.
Opt for a Level Entry
Eliminate any potential for falls on the exterior of the home by opting for level entry both in the front and back of the home. While stairs inside the home can be problematic for people as they age, they are especially problematic in the elements, such as rain or ice, that can escalate the risk of a hazard being present greatly.
Select Lever Door Handles, Not Knobs
Many older individuals have arthritis or carpal tunnel that limits their ability to grip and twist door knobs. Select levers instead for ease of opening all doors within the home and limit both the pain and frustration of the homeowners, while improving their ability to use all of the features of their home effortlessly.
Add Sliding Drawers to Cabinetry
Make cooking in the kitchen much more accessible by adding sliding drawers into the cabinetry. Selecting cookware out of a sliding drawer is much easier than having to bend down and reach inside a cabinet, especially for anyone with back or knee issues that cannot squat easily.
Handrails in the Bathtubs and Showers
Bathtubs can become more hazardous as we age, as they are often unexpectedly slippery, which can lead to falls. Installing handrails in bathtubs and showers give older adults additional support to hold or lean on while bathing, and a sense of security.
Consider Lots of Window for Natural Heat
As humans age, our circulatory system often functions differently and many older adults find themselves feeling cold the majority of the time. Windows are a great way to bring natural heat into a home without increasing energy costs, while also looking elegant and sleek.
Make the Hallways and Doorways Wheelchair Friendly
While building your new custom home, ask to have the hallways and doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, in the event that you need one in the future. Having the wider openings now may save the homeowners the hassle of having to renovate and/retrofit their home to be accessible, in a time that they may be medically fragile or unable to adapt their home to meet their needs.
The beauty of buying a new, custom-built home is the ability to design your home to meet your exact needs, which is especially accommodating for seasoned homebuyers. The above suggestions are a great starting point for creating a home that assists in maintaining the residents’ independence by smart features to make life a little bit easier.