It’s official, Baby Boomers are retiring. According to PEW Research Center Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 Boomers a day. This avalanche of seniors will continue for the next 19 years. The most active and fiercely independent generation is entering their golden years and they want to stay as active and independent as they can for as long as they can. The main ingredient in doing so is the remodeling of their homes. With 77 million Boomers representing 50% of all US discretionary spending this is a trend not to ignore. We strongly recommend looking for someone who is a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS). Here are a few ideas that will help any Boomer get their remodel started:
Don’t Wait – The best advice you can give on an aging-in-place remodel is to not wait. Many wait till it is an emergency and then cannot return home from injury or illness and may have to be transferred to an assisted living or nursing care facility while the remodel is complete. It is better to plan and even possibly phase the project.
Bathroom – The bathroom is a prime place to start. There is much in the bathroom that can present safety issues that can be resolved with varying levels of effort and cost, most are easily addressed. Here are a few key items for any aging-in-place bathroom remodel:
o Zero Step Shower Entry – this may be a bit more involved but presents, probably, the greatest safety from falling.
o Shower Seat & Handheld Shower – this will ensure independence in the shower.
o Grab Bars – need to be installed anywhere where there will be any maneuvering happening. The NAHB says 80% of CAPS projects last year included grab bars.
o Bidet Toilet Seat – this ensures independence in the most private of daily activities.
The bidet toilet seat also presents better hygiene and thus confidence for the aging. Nothing depletes independence or confidence more than not being able to clean oneself properly or at all, and the bidet toilet seat is such an easy install.
o Flooring – removing carpeted areas diminishes risks of tripping and going for honed finishes instead of polished finished help with reducing slipping accidents.
o Toilet – replace the standard height (14.5 in) toilet with a 16 in toilet to make getting up and down easier.
o Faucets – add anti-scalding protection to the sink and shower.
• Lighting – One of the most overlooked items in a remodel for aging-in-place is the lighting because the need for more light happens so incrementally that it goes unnoticed. Those of us that are more aged require at least three times more light than someone in their twenties or thirties. Areas where activity happens is a good place to focus:
o Under Cabinet
• Hardware – Swapping out knobs for pulls for cabinets and changing out door knobs for levers is a great way to reduce daily frustration. According to the National Academy on an Aging Society 46% of those 65+ years of age suffer from arthritis.
These are just some ideas to get you started. The important thing to remember is that 80% of those surveyed by AARP expressed a desire to stay in their home. A good place to start is with the toilet and install a Brondell Swash bidet toilet seat today! See more Brondell products at ActiveForever.com.