Age-in-Place & Increase the Value of Your Home

Saturday, August 25, 2018, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Many seniors these days are opting to live at home for as long as possible instead of moving into pricey retirement communities. Who can blame them?

Making a few modifications on a home now in anticipation of “aging in place” could help seniors maintain their independence and save money in the long run on senior living.

Let’s take a look at a few of the renovations that may increase the value of a home and quality of life while safely aging in place.

First you should consider all the rooms you access on a daily basis, including the main bathroom, bedroom, living/dining room, kitchen and laundry. Is it single-floor living?

Here are a some renovations that can improve accessibility for seniors looking to age in place:

Age-in-Place & Increase the Value of Your Home
Image Source: Pixabay

  • A Home Elevator

    If you don’t have the option of keeping all of your main rooms on one floor, you may need to invest in an elevator. Elevators are about more than just safety and convenience; they can actually add value to your home.

    If down the road you want to sell the home to help fund your retirement, some buyers interested in aging in place will appreciate this accessibility feature. This is a significant home improvement upgrade that will provide good mobility, plus a level of comfort throughout the years.

  • Kitchen Touches

    For many, the kitchen is the heart of the home — a place where people gather to chat and prepare home-cooked meals. It’s also the one room homebuyers are particularly drawn to, so make every decision count, because a full kitchen remodel can get expensive quickly.

    If you want to create a step-by-step guide to kitchen remodeling, you’ll have to ask yourself what you absolutely need and what updates will provide the most value.

    Simple updates include replacing the kitchen cabinets with drawers and pull-out shelves that don’t require a lot of bending down. Don’t forget knobs and pulls that are easy to grab. These simple upgrades work for homeowners of all ages and won’t break the bank.

  • Bath Renovations

    Adding a first-floor master suite to an existing home costs an average of $103,844, according to an article on Bankrate. But that often isn’t a realistic upgrade for many homeowners.

    If you could focus on a bathroom makeover only, one of the trends for seniors is swapping out the soaking tub for a walk-in shower with a built-in seat. A walk-in shower upgrade costs an average of $4,650. Typically, a wheelchair can be rolled into a walk-in or curbless shower. Those types of showers aren’t just for wheelchair users, however. Anyone looking to get rid of their tub might be interested as well.

  • Universal Design

    The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act brought with it a new era of architecture known as universal design, which takes into consideration products and spaces that can be used by all people, regardless of physical limitations or disabilities, and focuses on safety and ease of use.

    Whether you’re dealing with retrofitting an existing space or working with a new palette, Universal design concepts can be applied to the home or situation. According to aging in place expert and carpenter Louis Tenenbaum, “Think of it as a design insurance policy,” Tenenbaum says. “The best time to do it is before you develop significant health or mobility issues. You can’t buy insurance when you have a claim. It’s the same with home modifications.”

    According to AARP, only 1 percent of the homes out there are conducive to aging in place, which doesn’t match the number of people wanting to age in place.

    “That’s because aging in place successfully means looking at your home environment as it is today and reshaping it so that it remains safe, comfortable and accessible through every stage of the aging process,” according to an article on Aging in Place.

    For a more extensive guide of home features and improvements, the National Association of Home Builders has an aging-in-place checklist that can be found here. If you plan to stay in your home well into your golden years, it’s not too early to start planning and taking action.

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