Today, especially in the home building and remodeling industries, universal design concepts and advantages are well known. Just imagine, if 20 or 30 years ago, home builders had adopted the finer points of universal design home design. We would have far fewer seniors and people with disabilities struggling to find aging in place home modification equipment and remodeling services today. 55+ adults and seniors would be easily navigating living spaces within their homes, rather than shopping for walk in tubs and roll in showers, stair lifts, and aging in place bathroom remodeling.
Quoting from the NAHB article, ‘What is Universal Design’, “Everyone can use universal design! It doesn’t matter if you are young or old. You could be short or tall, healthy or ill. You might have a disability. Or you may be a prize-winning athlete. Because of universal design, people who are very different can all enjoy the same home. And that home will be there for all its inhabitants even when their needs change.”
Use the Aging-In-Place Remodeling Checklist, courtesy of the NAHB, to determine whether your home is aging in place-friendly.
Advances have been made throughout the home in the areas of accessible bath and kitchen fixtures and features, home automation features, and disability equipment design. The five main universal design features that every builder and homeowner would be wise to incorporate into their new homes or remodels are:
- Zero-step entry with a level threshold at the door
- One story barrier-free living
- Wide doorways and hallways
- 60’ turning radii for general comfort (and possible a wheelchair some day)
- Lever door handles and rocker light switches