Just last year, AARP again reported that "... 90% of older adults want to remain in their own homes as long as possible." They often live, however, in homes with design features (such as second floor bedrooms and bathrooms and multi-step entries) that that challenge the reality of that dream. The National Association of Home Builders has been working to resolve this mismatch, creating specialized training for builders, called CAPS (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist). Though I'm not a contractor, I've been "CAPS certified" for over ten years, using what I've learned to help people make their homes more "User Friendly."
"User-Friendly" homes are designed to meet the current and future needs of the people who live in them. They are safe and easy places to live. When possible, they include universal design features such as
Fortunately, even if our homes weren't designed to accommodate our needs across the lifespan, there is still plenty that we can do to make them more "user-friendly"... or what AARP calls "HomeFit." Visit AARP's HomeFit page to access a guidebook, brochure, and video that offer design and safety strategies that help us adapt to changes in vision, hearing, strength, mobility, balance, and flexibility. For example,
Consumer's Home Repair Guide from the Illinois Attorney General's office.
If finances are limited, click here to visit CareSmart's Home Modification/Repair Assistance List of helpful local resources.
The smartest approach is to anticipate and prioritize your needs, then to start making changes today... before you really need them. Your home is your castle. Make it work for YOU!