Aging in place is a phrase that describes a person living in a residence of their choice for as long as they are able as they grow older. This also includes being able to get any support (or services) they may need as their needs change.
Fairbanks Homes knows that people having a house that meets their needs for longer and makes their lives easier as time goes on, is important. That’s why we are committed to the idea and utilize Universal Design and accessibility in every one of our homes we build. We do the same with our home remodeling services.
Our goal is to help keep people safe, happy, and living the life they want … regardless of their age or what their needs are.
Why aging in place?
It is a known fact that most older adults would rather stay in the homes of their choice, rather than live somewhere they we unfamiliar with or didn’t meet their needs. People are much more comfortable with the idea of aging in place. They genuinely desire to have homes that are easier to live in and have the features and functionality of a home built to accommodate everyone’s needs. Of course, most also want to live in an area or neighborhood that is familiar to them.
Having a new home built or remodeling of the current home you live in, so it is safe and makes life easier as you age. It will dramatically change the way your later years turn out.
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Statistically speaking, more people fall at home in the bathroom than anywhere else. Period. It accounts for 80% of the falls by older adults. In 2019, 34,000 people over the age of 65 passed away due to a fall. The same year, over 3 million older adults had emergency room visits due to a fall.
It is not only important for your safety, but incredibly so for your finances. Falls in older adults is responsible for $50 billion in medical costs annually. You certainly don’t want an accident like a fall to decimate your retirement account.
The good news is that creating a home that protects you from falls is not as difficult as it sounds. (We’ll cover more on this, later.) Just know that there are a few key areas where falls normally happen and we can help you remodel those areas (or, create new ones) to reduce the chance of this happening to you or a loved one.
It sounds simple to say but having a home that is easier to live in can have an incredibly positive affect on your life. (This goes for everyone, not just older adults.) When you have everything that you need, where you need it, when you need it at home, it makes life (and all those chores) so much easier.
There are several features, remodeling areas or functionality that can really improve your daily life. The basis of this is called, “main floor living.” Essentially, it means everything you need for daily life is on the main floor of the home. (This is based on Universal Design principles we discussed, earlier.)
Each of these rooms in your “main floor living” home should have accessibility built into them. This means functional amenities that make these spaces easier to live in. Again, all based on Universal Design and accessibility, such as:
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Finally, we have convenience. The truth is that Universal Design is based on what will be good for anyone to use. Not just older adults; anyone. By crafting a home environment using these design principles, you can make sure everyone … your immediate family, visitors and even grandchildren can enjoy your home and be safer being there.
Gone are the days when every home is built or remodeled for the average 20-year-old. Today, we can create (or, re-create) a home that is easy for anyone to live in. The wonderful thing is that building practices, knowledge and technology have increased at an incredible rate. This has allowed us to create homes for everyone, of any age and at any stage of their lives.
Craig Fairbanks, the owner of Fairbanks Builders, is a member of the Remodeler’s Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), as well as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). We serve the Greater Cedar Valley area, including Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Janesville, Waverly, Hudson, Dike, Parkersburg Evansdale, Elk Run, Jesup, Traer, Dysart, LaPorte City, Iowa . We provide custom home construction and personalized home remodeling.
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The term, “aging in place” is subjective; it can mean different things to people. So, let’s talk quickly about some of those situations where it might make sense for you and your family.
We’ve already talked about “main floor living” (where everything you need for daily life is on the main floor of the home). But, there may be other situations where aging in place and Universal Design come into play. For instance, multi-generational homes.
When you have a multi-generational family living together, it can create situations where everyone does not have what they need for daily life. For instance, if an older parent moves in with their children.
Creating a home where everyone has what they need, including accessibility, safety and is made to look beautiful … it can be challenging for a remodeler or builder who is not experienced. That’s where Fairbanks Builders comes in; we have the education, experience, and skillset to craft you a home that works for everyone.
Our goal is to help all of our clients create a home that is not only safe and accessible, but also is a joy to live in. We want to empower people to live the lives they want on their own terms. That is what aging in place is all about … regardless of the hurdles that you encounter in life, you are still building your best life, every day.