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March 16, 2015

The Baby Boomer Guide to Aging-in-Place

by Yvonne

Baby Boomer Guide to Aging in Place.png

Hunter Douglas Silhouette® window shadings

In a little over a decade, the 65+ age group is expected double. And with most Baby Boomers hoping to age-in-place, rather than spend their twilight years in a retirement community, it is important to begin incorporating universal design principles into home projects now.

So what is universal design? Universal design is about building a home that anyone can use (not
just for the elderly or disabled) focusing on safety, comfort and convenience for everyone.

It’s no secret that when one ages, certain tasks like turning door knobs, getting up, or climbing stairs can become a bit more challenging. Luckily, simple design tweaks done today, like motorized window treatments or levers instead of knobs, can make tasks and life that much easier in the future, enabling Baby Boomers to stay independent, longer.

Are you planning to make some home improvements this year? Age gracefully at home by incorporating these essential updates:

Bathroom

Bathroom tubs can be a slipping hazard for all ages, which is why it makes sense to forgo the all-in-one tub and shower for a sleek walk-in stall. Add a built-in bench and handheld shower head and you’ll achieve a safe and comfortable spa environment.

Flooring

Surefootedness is a concern when aging, therefore non-slip floor surfaces are a must. High shine and ultra-smooth flooring should be swapped out for options that offer sufficient traction in stocking feet or slippery soles. And to eliminate tripping hazards, choose non-slip rugs or better yet, install carpet.

Kitchen

As you age, you need more light to see as well as you did in in the past. Adding task lighting under kitchen cabinets ups the wow factor of your kitchen, while at the same time increases visibility for cooking. For an even more functional space, choose pull down or pull out shelving that makes getting things in and out of cupboards and pantries a breeze.

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Window Treatments

Diminished motor skills can make lifting window treatments a challenge. Luckily manufacturers like Hunter Douglas, have designed innovative lifting systems and motorized window treatments that makes opening and lowering window treatments, especially those that are difficult to access, much easier. Or eliminate the need to lift altogether by installing shutters.

Furniture

Comfort and function over fashion trends is key when selecting furniture that will take you into your golden years. It’s important to choose pieces that are easy to get in-and-out of, which means sofas and chairs with extra soft padding or deep, shallow seats should be avoided. A functional layout is also important. Walkways and paths between rooms should be unobstructed by furniture to eliminate the chances of tripping.

Because universal design benefits homeowners of all ages, you shouldn’t have to forfeit beautiful design for improved function and safety. So when you start this year’s renovation project, take universal design into consideration. Your future self will thank you.

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Yvonne

With a lifelong passion for interior design and multiple professional certifications, Yvonne strives to offer a design experience that is tailored to the needs of each individual client.

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