By now you have no doubt heard the phrase “Aging in Place”, also known as Universal Design. If you are unfamiliar with either phrase, it is essentially a home design method that aims to allow you to stay in your home as you age and your ability level decreases. Like everything else in life, age in place suffers from its share of myths, and in today’s blog post, we are going to debunk some of the more common falsehoods.
Aging in Place Myths
Our homes are the main place we make memories in life. From birthday celebrations and Christmas festivities to simple, everyday living, the majority of our lives are spent in our humble abodes. Most homeowners become emotionally attached to their houses because of this and are reluctant to move to another dwelling, even if they outgrow their current home or they no longer have the ability (through aging or disability) to stay in their residence.
As we age, issues with health pop up that make living in a regular home not so feasible. Perhaps mobility problems occur, and you or a loved one are confined to a wheelchair. In this example, you may find your doorways are not wide enough to maneuver through or that you can no longer use your restroom for its intended purposes.
Fortunately for those of us who love our homes and want to stay in them forever, there is the practice of age-in-place remodeling and universal design. You can get a detailed explanation of aging in place from our blog.
Homeowners can be hesitant about undertaking an age in place remodel or renovation, as they may have heard some myths about the process. One of the most common of these has to do with cost. We have heard time and again: isn’t it cheaper to just purchase a new home that will suit my needs? The answer to this is often no. For starters, your current home might meet most of your needs already. In that event, you would only need to make a few adjustments to make your house easily accessible for you or your family.
Another age in place myth we hear is that you should wait until you have mobility or accessibility problems before you do any age in place upgrades to your home. This one is fraught with problems. For starters, if you wait until a disability sets in, you will have to live with your house in its current state until renovations are complete, meaning you won’t have the access that you require until the project is complete. Second, adding universal design elements to your home prior to a disability can actually help you prevent an injury from occurring in the first place. A simple addition of grab bars in the shower, for instance, might stop a nasty slip and fall that could cause a broken hip – or worse!
Finally, many people think of age in place design as being ugly or unsightly. This could not be further from the truth. A good universal design specialist will know how to seamlessly blend in age in place design elements with your home’s existing decor and layout, without making things “stand out” too much.
North Georgia Universal Design
If you live in North Georgia and are considering a universal design or age in place project, give Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling a call and let us answer any questions you may have about the process!