Universal Design is a relatively new paradigm that emerged from "barrier-free" or "accessible design." It is a design focus that describes designing and building a home to accommodate its owner's physical needs for today and into the future. However, universal design and new home construction are not mutually exclusive terms. Some of the industry's strongest universal design advocates say they have been inspired either through their own personal experience coping with life-altering disabilities or by clients with special needs; and many of these clients had a strong desire to stay in their current family home!
Let us tell you a little about the numerous people for whom Universal Design was, well, designed! Of course the commonly used term "Aging In Place" is easily understood to refer to aging adults whose changing abilities require changing environments. Many people who wish to stay in their homes through their retirement are planning ahead to begin adapting their homes for the years to come.
This mature section makes up an extremely large portion of those who benefit from Universal Design. In 2008 the US Administration On Aging concluded that 1 in 8 Americans is aged 65 or older. By 2030 that statistic will jump to 1 in 5! The agency took this study one step further and asked how many of these adults wanted to stay in their homes as they aged. An amazing 90% planned on staying in their current homes throughout their retirement; 50% of those people are planning on remodeling their home to accommodate their future needs. So, I think we have a handle on the fact that the aging population in our country is quickly realizing that Universal Design and Certified Aging in Place Specialists are going to be the best way to age gracefully in their home sweet home! …Continue Reading