Tim Lawrence of Blue Ridge Home Improvements has seen a long-term that is affecting his business. He calls it “aging-in-place.”
Here’s how he evaluates it: “Back in 2000, the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducted a joint study of AARP members and found that overwhelming numbers wanted to stay right where they were in their later years rather than move to assisted-living facilities or other arrangements.
“Most of these folks are members of the Baby Boomer generation, who are nearing retirement and who realize their homes are not as friendly as they would like them to be. Most homes that were constructed before 2000 were designed for younger owners.
“Today, architects and builders employ universal design, which incorporates design features that are friendly and accessible for people of all age groups and physical abilities. These features make the home more convenient, safer and more comfortable for the owners and visitors.
A large portion of our projects over the last five to seven years have incorporated a number of universal design features: wider doorways and hallways; the use of grab bars and handrails in bathing areas; increasing space in baths and kitchens for owners to easily get around with a walker or wheelchair.
“Other potential features are zero step entries, better lighting, nonskid floor surfaces and lever handle door locks. Some of these projects tackle problems for homeowners with specific needs such as chairlifts, ramps and no-threshold showers.”