Age at Home, Independently
Designing and building for Aging at Home makes a great return on your investment. You can stay in your own home as you age and keep your independence, without concern for necessary repairs or changes, and may well avoid costly assisted living facilities. If resale value is your main interest, your home will appeal to a much broader market since you've created a home with Universal Design, appealing to everyone, at each stage of life. It's much less expensive to build for aging at home than to make changes later. Design for Aging at Home is not difficult, and it doesn't have to cost a fortune.
Aging at home Matters to Us Because...
My mother was diagnosed with dementia and early-onset Alzheimer's in 2014. She is one of a long line of people in her family who have had this disease, and as a builder, the first thing I wanted to know was how we could make the home she lives in safer for her. Her own surroundings, her routine, her husband (my dad), and her dog are important to my mom, and she doesn't want to leave any of what she knows and what's familiar, nor do we want to see her in an assisted living facility or nursing home -- and I am well aware we're not the only family dealing with this situation.
I just recently completed my CAPS classes, meaning I'm now a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. I learned even more about Aging in Place, Universal Design, and why it's so important to start thinking about it as soon as possible.
I've done the math for us -- and it's clear that allowing Mom to stay in her own home -- even if that means making significant changes to their house -- is way less expensive than an assisted living facility. The same is true for all of us, if we are willing to plan ahead. My wife and I are adamant that we will create our forever home to be a place where we can age in place, and consider all that goes into that design beforehand.
I know it's hard to think about the future, to consider having to deal with growing old, or your parents aging. But if you make smart decisions on your project now, and prepare for what we all hope are those golden retirement years of life, you can keep your assets and the comforts of home close for many, many years.