If you are like me and probably most Baby Boomers, I do not want to think about aging and what changes that will mean for me and my family. But the fact is, aging brings changes to us all. Today, more than 35 million Americans are age 65 or above. By the year 2030, it is estimated that nearly one in five Americans will be over age 65.
In past generations, it was assumed that when an individual or a couple reached a certain age, they moved into a senior living facility or retirement home, or they moved in with their children, giving up their home. Some senior adults do need and want to do that, but many seniors still enjoy an active and high-quality retirement, and don't want to give up their autonomy or their home.
A growing specialty within the remodeling industry called "Aging in Place" allows active seniors to stay in their homes longer. Aging in Place (also known as Universal Design) is a design approach that seeks to create environments and systems that can be used regardless of age and capabilities - adapting the home to the physical needs of its residents.
The focus of an “Aging in Place” design is to help ensure that you can live in your residence as you age. However, it is more than just that. The goal of an elderly person (or anyone) wanting to "age in place" should be to maintain and/or improve their quality of life. In order to do that, you need a good plan, created as early as possible, that focuses on that quality of life and how it can be incorporated into your home and your care as you age. This plan should be maintained over time as your situation changes.