The most reliable statistics available indicate an unavoidable change in American demographics as the Baby Boomer population–those born between 1946 and 1964–continues to age. With age comes different residential and independent living needs, many of which are not being satisfied by current homes. Developing adaptable housing for the elderly is poised to become a thriving and much-needed sector of the construction industry.
Aging in Place
Many older couples and individuals are finding themselves still living in the homes that they owned when they were younger. An older home may be too much for an older resident to maintain. It also may not be suitable for senior living since the structure might lack accommodations for physical limitations, visual impairments, or other difficulties faced by older individuals.
For those who want to stay in their familiar homes during their senior years, housing renovations can be done to support aging in place. These include:
- Establishing plenty of travel room for wheelchairs or assistive devices, such as walkers.
- Providing adequate lighting for all rooms and areas where lighting is often limited, such as over kitchen cabinets and in closets.
- Revising kitchen facilities to make it easier for persons to use them by lowering cabinets and counters, adding sliding drawers, and clearing space for wheelchairs.
- Renovating bathrooms to increase safety by measures such as adding grab bars, installing floor-level showers, and increasing the amount of lighting.
New Designs for Adaptations
New senior housing projects are being designed and built specifically for the needs of older residents. For example, in some communities, abandoned malls and disused big-box stores are being converted into senior housing facilities. The landscape, public services, and amenities surrounding these types of senior housing projects are being redesigned to provide easy access to transportation, services, and recreational facilities.
Construction Monitor informs industry professionals, including managers, business developers, and planners, of the most recent and relevant developments in construction and design. Contact us today for more information on the challenges involved in developing adaptable housing for the elderly and how this segment of the construction business will become more important in the coming years.