“Booming” Population May Require Key Home Upgrades
Are you one of the 74.6 million baby boomers living in America? If not, you probably know someone who is a member of this group. Baby boomers are special: Experimental, worldly, often free-spirited, and fiercely proud of their independence. Because of this “can do” attitude, more and more senior citizens are rejecting the notion of spending their later years in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Many are opting to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.
Aging In Place, CAPS
This trend is often referred to as “aging in place.” The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has created and developed a certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) training program to educate businesses on what home modifications are often needed to serve an aging population. CAPS certified builders and contractors have completed a three-day course on design and structural solutions that work to make living at home easier and possible much later in life.
Renovating Your Home For an Aging Individual
The changes needed to make a home more efficient for a senior citizen can vary, but many are crucial for better functionality. A bathroom may need to be remodeled to include a higher toilet, a curbless or “zero entry” shower, and grab bars. A room on the first floor may need to be converted to a bedroom so the resident can avoid the stairs. The same can be said for a laundry area; in many older homes laundry facilities are located in the basement—moving these facilities to the main floor of the home allows easier access.
Doorways may need to be widened or ramps added to the exterior for better wheelchair access. Those confined to a wheelchair often find the kitchen to be a problem area: The counters are too high, as is the stove and kitchen sink. A CAPS professional can work with a homeowner to redesign the kitchen to feature lower countertops and appliances for improved convenience.
New Construction Home For an Aging Individual
When building a new home, some older Americans opt for a “universal design” which may include lever-style door handles, easy-access storage, slip-resistant flooring, open floor plans, and adequate lighting. The right contractor can incorporate these features without sacrificing style. Homes designed in this way meet the requirements of most baby boomers, but would also work as a plus for younger homeowners that may come along in the future.
Lucien Vaughn of Tarheel Associates, Inc. is the only builder in the New Bern area with a CAPS certification. He has the knowledge to answer any questions you may have about the modifications needed for you or a loved one planning to “age in place.” Vaughn and his company can help you remain in the neighborhood you love and near good friends and family…and isn’t that what most of us want?
To receive additional information on a reconstruction or renovation, or to start a new building project, contact the team of experts with over 30 years of experience at Tarheel Associates, Inc. by calling (252) 633-6452.