Posts Tagged ‘AARP’
Best Layout Plans
Before heading outside, let’s review the general universal lay-out. (Review previous posts for per room specifics.)
First, if you can only afford to remodel a few areas, concentrate on the entrance, master bathroom and kitchen but also plan a “sleeping space” in a room (e.g. den, living/play room, office) that can be re-purposed if you don’t already have a first floor bedroom. At a minimum, you must be able to enter the home and care for yourself.
Do as much proactive planning while you’re “behind the walls” (e.g. add blocking for future safety bars). The cost to remodel will depend on load bearing walls and what you’re attempting to achieve. Building new universally adds very little cost and may actually be less expensive if, for example, you’re NOT building something like steps.
Why CAPS Matters
A general contractor can build pretty much anything but serving the aging-in-place market requires putting on one’s thinking CAPS. BuilderFish is designated by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS). Given the alphabet soup of industry designations, I know this doesn’t mean much so I’ll explain why it matters.
First a little background, the NAHB reports the fastest growing segment of remodeling projects is home modification for aging-in-place. That might surprise given the seemingly constant stream of publicity for “green building” and energy sustainability; but, it’s understandable when you consider the median year built of all U.S. homes is 1974 (HUD’s 2009 American Housing Survey), Boomers begin turning 65 in January at a clip of 10,000 daily and there are no regulations (only suggested guidelines) governing accessibility requirements for residential homes. (Americans with Disabilities Act regulates public and commercial spaces.)
Will that multi-level house eventually challenge its occupants and those who care about them? As owners age, a set of stairs once bounded two and three at a time can become like scaling Mt. Everest.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found that nearly 90 percent of survey respondents preferred to remain in their current homes as they aged. But older Americans and their kids worry whether the home will remain both safe and comfortable, or if adult children will instead welcome their parents or in-laws into their homes. Most parents don’t want to impose on their children, wish to maintain their independence and don’t want to be forced from their homes into an assisted living “facility”.
Fortunately, a movement within the housing industry and groups assisting seniors recognizes the growing demand to accommodate “aging in place” in both existing and new homes, even to include a planned likelihood of in-home care. I blogged about Universal Design, and the AARP administers the designation CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist), which incorporates UD as well as guidance from the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).