Aging in Place & Universal Design

UNIVERSAL DESIGN and AGING IN PLACE

Universal Design and Aging in Place are closely related. They are approaches to home design or modification as well as product selection that allow anyone to live more safely and independently in a home.

It doesn’t matter if the residents are young or old, well or disabled, anyone can live comfortably in a Universal Designed home.

What are some of the features of Universal Design?

• No step entry, covered entry way
• Wide doors and halls, large rooms
• One story home
• Level thresholds
• Good lighting, task lighting
• Rocker light switches
• Lever door handles and water faucets
• Non-slip flooring
• Non-slip bathtub (or walk-in tub) and no threshold showers with built-in seats
• Raised toilet seats
• Reachable controls and switches
• Countertops and vanity with open space underneath
• Easy to grasp drawer and cabinet pulls
• Side-by-side refrigerator

All of these features would be fairly easy and inexpensive to incorporate into a new home design. Although the cost of remodeling an existing home would likely be higher the design would pay for itself as people would be able to remain in their homes as they age or in the event they become ill or disabled.

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