Accessible Design: Remodeling for Aging in Place

At Smithway Home Solutions, we recognize the growing need for homes that accommodate the evolving needs of individuals as they age. This extends across various aspects of the home environment. This post broadens the scope to explore the principles of universal design applied to whole-home remodeling. We’ll delve into creating not only accessible bathrooms but also kitchens, living areas, and bedrooms that prioritize safety, comfort, and independence for people of all ages and abilities.

Safety First

Safety is a cornerstone of universal design, particularly when tailoring homes for aging in place. While bathrooms often require the most immediate attention, other areas of the home benefit significantly from safety enhancements:

  • General Safety Features: Install grab bars in bathrooms, hallways, and even in bedrooms to help prevent falls. Choose slip-resistant flooring materials across the home to ensure stable footing.
  • Lighting: Enhance lighting throughout the home, including pathways and staircases, to prevent accidents. Use ample, glare-free lighting to aid visibility in every room.
  • Entryways: Ensure that entryways are barrier-free and have ramps if necessary to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers, making entering and exiting the home safer and easier.

Comfortable and Functional Layout

Designing a home with a comfortable and functional layout is crucial when considering aging in place. This involves thoughtful space planning to ensure ease of movement and accessibility:

  • Open Floor Plans: Consider adopting an open floor plan to eliminate barriers between common areas such as the kitchen, living room, and dining area. This improves mobility and facilitates social interaction.
  • Kitchen Design: Lower countertops and pull-out shelves can make kitchens more usable for those with limited mobility. Ensure appliances are easily accessible and controls are simple to operate.
  • Bathroom Adaptations: Install walk-in showers with bench seating and handheld showerheads. Opt for higher toilets with grab bars and touchless faucets to enhance usability and independence.

Independence Enhancing Features

Promoting independence in every aspect of home design is essential for dignity and quality of life as individuals age.

  • Technology Integration: Smart home technology can greatly enhance an individual’s ability to live independently. Automated systems for lighting, heating, and security can be controlled remotely and adjusted easily.
  • Custom Storage Solutions: In bedrooms and living areas, incorporate adjustable storage systems that can be easily reached from any height or position.
  • Ease of Use: Ensure that all features of the home are easy to use, from lever door handles and rocker light switches to voice-activated devices that can control various aspects of the home environment.

Aesthetically Pleasing Design

Ensuring that a home is accessible does not mean compromising on style. Aesthetics play an important role in creating an inviting and comfortable home environment.

  • Harmonious Design Elements: Select fixtures, finishes, and furniture that reflect the home’s overall style. Use color schemes and materials that are timeless and elegant, ensuring the home remains stylish and functional.
  • Personal Touches: Integrate personal and decorative elements that reflect the homeowner’s tastes and interests, from artwork to custom textiles, ensuring these elements are also functional and contribute to the home’s accessibility.
  • Seamless Integration: Design adaptations should feel integrated into the overall decor, not as afterthoughts. This includes matching grab bars with other bathroom fixtures or choosing cabinetry that accommodates accessibility needs while blending with the kitchen’s design theme.

At Smithway Home Solutions, we believe in creating environments that cater to the needs of aging individuals, allowing them to enjoy their homes safely and comfortably for years to come. By embracing universal design principles, we can remodel any space to be both functional and beautiful, ensuring that aging in place is a viable and attractive option. Contact us today to learn how we can help design a home that combines safety, comfort, and style, tailored perfectly to support aging in place.