If you are anything like the vast majority of Americans over the age of 45 you want to live out the remainder of your days in the comfortable and familiar surroundings of your own home. You have likely lived there for many years, probably because you like the home and the neighborhood. However, it is also likely that you live in a “Peter Pan” home. That is, a home designed for someone who will never grow old. Most homes are designed based on common practice in the past rather than usefulness for the present and the future. Chances are, there are a number of steps in your home, both outside and inside. It is very likely that there are many doors in your home that are too narrow for a walker or wheelchair to pass through. Most bathrooms are full of hazards for anyone who is struggling with mobility or balance issues even if you can get through the door. My advice is to plan ahead to modify your home before it reaches the point where you are having difficulty. For example, if you install grab bars before you need them, you will get in the habit of reaching for them and then when you do need them, the action will be automatic. Many people do not think about making changes to their homes until it becomes an emergency, at which point it is more difficult and costly to get changes made in time to be effective.
If you are considering updating your kitchen, bathroom, deck, or any other part of your home, take some time to think about your future needs. By designing your home to be beautiful and accessible for people of all ages, you are making an investment in your future that will pay dividends for years to come. Not only will you be more comfortable and safer in your home, you will enjoy it more as well. I have a number of checklists available to help you decide what areas of your home to consider modifying. Please call me at (540) 384-2064 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or for a home assessment. The more information you have about what your options are, the better decision you can make. I look forward to hearing from you, and thank you for reading Housing Matters.