According to Generations United, a surprising 1 in 4 Americans live in a multigenerational household.
This trend continues to increase year after year. In 2011, only 7% of Americans lived in multigenerational households. A decade later in 2021, nearly 26% of American households are multigenerational, a 271% increase. What does this trend mean for homeowners? As our elderly loved ones who live with us continue to age, they may require accessibility upgrades in order to remain comfortable and mobile. Homes that are not laid out in a way that accommodates older adults may increase their risk of falls and injury.
At Lynch Design Build, our CAPS-Certified contractors have decades of experience planning and executing home remodels that make it easier for senior citizens to age at home. If you live in a multigenerational home, or your older parents/grandparents are moving in soon, consider these home modifications below:
Widen Hallways and Doorways
As we age, it’s harder to be mobile without more support. Hallways and doorframes that are too tight and inaccessible with a walker or wheelchair can make simple navigation nearly impossible for our aging loved ones. If your loved one needs added support to move around the house, consider the immeasurable value of widening your entryways. An accessible home means more independence for your aging parent or grandparent.
Upgrade Your Bathroom
As some of the most common slip and falls occur in the bathroom and shower, preparing the bathroom to be accessible for an aging loved one should be a priority. For example, the lip of a bathtub or shower can easily create a dangerous tripping hazard for older adults. An effective solution is to install a shower that acts as a wet room. There is no need for a shower tray and you can walk right into the shower without a tripping hazard. A glass screen or door is simply used to separate the shower from the rest of the bathroom.
Additional bathroom upgrades you can make are motion-sensor sinks and faucets, grab bars for stability and a walk-in tub.
Remove Obstacles Associated with Stairways
Navigating stairs is one of the biggest obstacles for older adults with trouble moving around freely. If you have stairs leading from the driveway to the front door or back door of your home, consider making these entry points more accessible by installing ramps. Additionally, if you live in a multi-story home, installing a wheelchair lift system can help your loved one freely move up and down stories. An alternative to making your stairways more accessible is to remodel your first floor specifically for first-floor living. You can turn a spare den or dining room into an extra bedroom, for example, so your aging loved one doesn’t have a need to travel to the second floor of the home.
Consider an Open Floor Plan
While a more drastic and costly home upgrade, transforming your interior into an open floor plan is a great way to ensure your elderly loved one runs into as little obstacles as possible. This option is suitable for homeowners who are already considering the value of a full house renovation and wish to design their interiors for maximum comfort and accessibility.
Work with a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist to Make Your Home Accessible For Elderly Loved Ones
Over the years we have refined the art of modifying existing homes to meet the unique needs of senior citizens. This is an important area of the design & build trade to us because we believe it is a special thing to be able to age at home and surrounded by loved ones. Homes should always be growing and changing along with their residents, and upgraded to accommodate their occupants’ way of life.
Interested in breaking ground on a uniquely personalized and potentially life-changing home remodel that accommodates your multigenerational home? Start a conversation with our team of contractors and remodelers at Lynch Design | Build today. Call 410-879-5510 to get started.