Builders can help homeowners age in place |

Builders can help homeowners age in place

Rick DeMar
Special to the Nevada Appeal

If you’re like most Americans over age 45 you want to continue living in a familiar environment throughout your maturing years. According to AARP, older homeowners overwhelmingly prefer to age in place, which means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level.

According to AARP, 89 percent of people over 50 wish to remain in their homes indefinitely. A large portion of this population also has to contend with bringing their aging parents and family members into their homes to care for them in later years. The Builders Association of Western Nevada (BAWN) is eager to provide a solid knowledge base to the community regarding the issues surrounding aging in place.

What should your home contain if you wish to “age in place?”

• A master bedroom and bath on the first floor

• A low or no-threshold entrance to the home with an overhang

• Lever style door handles

• No change in levels on the main floor

• Bright lighting in all areas, especially stairways

• A low maintenance exterior

• Non-slip flooring at the main entryway

• An open floor plan, especially in the kitchen/dining room

• Handrails at all steps

Many of these features can be handled by way of remodeling your home. The National Association of Home Builders in partnership with AARP and the NAHB Research center have developed the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) program to teach professionals how to modify homes for aging in place.

What are some techniques CAPS-trained professionals use?

• Lighting from multiple directions to reduce glare and shadows

• Light sockets with more than one bulb in case one bulb burns out

• Stacking closets for a future elevator shaft

• Contrasting colors for depth perception.