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Essential Home Features for Aging in Place

June 22, 2018 | Regis McQuaide

Essential Home Features for RetireesAging in place is becoming an increasingly popular option for people contemplating retirement. Seventy-one percent of people aged 50 to 64 indicated that they would like to remain in their homes in an AARP Public Policy Institute survey. Unfortunately, aging in place can be a little difficult if you don’t make a few changes to your Pittsburgh home. These five features will make your house more comfortable and accessible if you’re planning a home remodeling project.

Wider Doors and Hallways

Trips to the kitchen or bathroom can be challenging if you must maneuver a wheelchair through narrow doors and hallways. If a simple trip to the bathroom becomes an ordeal, you may just start rethinking your choice to remain in your home.

Increased wear and tear is also a consideration when you live in a home that’s not designed with accessibility in mind. Forcing a wheelchair or walker through tight spaces can result in nicked, scraped or gouged walls which detract from the appearance of your home and lower resale value.

It’s fairly simple to widen doors and hallways during the renovation process. Hopefully, you’ll never need a wheelchair, but if you do, you’ll avoid last-minute modifications when you make accessibility a priority when remodeling.

An Open Floor Plan

Open floor plans are ideal if you’re planning to age in place. Removing a few walls eliminates obstacles, allowing you to move through your home freely. Converting your home to an open floor plan may also offer financial benefits when you’re ready to sell. According to statistics from the National Association of Home Builders, 45 percent of home buyers prefer completely open kitchen and dining areas, while 32 percent want open kitchen-family rooms.

First-Floor Convenience

Stairs can be a challenge if arthritis or other health concerns limit mobility as you age. Moving the master bedroom suite and laundry room to the first floor of your home makes it easy to enjoy one-floor living. If you don’t want to give up your second-floor master bedroom suite yet, use the first-floor suite for guests.

Bathroom Accessibility

The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house if you ever experience a mobility challenge. Adding a walk-in bath tub or a walk-in, curbless shower with built-in seats may decrease the risk of falls. During the renovation process, grab bars, additional lighting and other features can be added to make the bathroom safer. Many of these features can be incorporated into the design of the bathroom to ensure that the space doesn’t look institutional.

Other Helpful Modifications

Adding a few other modifications to your Shadyside, PA, bathroom or Mt. Lebanon bathroom remodel can improve safety, such as:

  • Motion-activated lighting that illuminates your path to the bathroom at night
  • Elimination of lips and thresholds on floors
  • Non-slip floor tiles
  • Anti-scald features in faucets
  • No-step entryways
  • Accessible door handles, faucet handles and light switches
  • Hands-free faucets
  • Varied height cabinets and countertops in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Low-maintenance finishes
  • Pull-down shelving in kitchen cabinets

Master Remodelers can help you modify your home to make aging in place an excellent option. Contact us to discuss your project.



AARP: Livable Communities Baby Boomers Facts and Figures


National Association of Home Builders: Builders Satisfy Demand for Large, Open Houses



Tags: Universal Design, Aging in Place, home remodeling, Pittsburgh home

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