As far as I can tell, 45+ is the sweet spot. Getting older means more time for everything you love: travel, gardening, movies in the afternoon, WINE IN THE AFTERNOON, freedom, second careers, hobbies, vitality and fun. Sure, eventually the old mortal coil starts to let us down but with the right foresight, planning and creativity, designing your home to allow you to stay as you age can mitigate potential obstacles without sacrificing beautiful design. As we look at rising real estate prices, especially in urban centers, we are seeing more multi-generational living so functional aging in place design is key not only for your future but to ensure accessibility for your parents and grandparents as they age. Although, these really are great ideas for all ages.
EASE OF USE
This is about brilliant design that mitigates all of the pushing and pulling of daily life. Here are some thoughtful products:
High Tech Touch Faucets - I prefer these over touch-less as they are sometimes too sensitive and turn on every time you walk by.
Also, don't forget cabinet doors with hydraulics and touch free technology.
EASE OF MAINTENANCE
Think Romba baby! Now they have mops and lawn mowers as well as vacuums. How cool is that?
You should also consider decluttering as an easy way to maintain your home.
EASY ON THE EYES
"If I were born in caveman days (cave-person if we are going to be pc about it) I would have been eaten by now" is a direct quote from my husband prior to his laser eye surgery. He used to wake up with a black smudge on his nose from reading a book the night before and without his glasses he couldn't clearly see his bedside clock. At 51 I am still managing without the readers but not if there is poor lighting and I definitely need my glasses if I am trying to read a street sign from more than 20 feet away.
Although most of us would not consider needing glasses a disability, it actually is something to be aware of when planning a renovation or new build. A good, layered lighting plan is essential but there are a few other things to consider as well.
Highly reflective (high gloss or lacquered) surfaces - while super glam, they may also give off a lot of glare. I am definitely not saying forego the glam, this is just something you should discuss with your designer so they can be sure to plan some balance with window coverings and dimmers (always install dimmers) for clients and their guests.
Creating a linear horizontal variation in tile or tile pattern will help people to determine depth when not wearing glasses.
Night lights or hard wired way-finding night lighting is very helpful for young and old alike and especially important in and around guest bedrooms so visitors can find where they can pee and where they can get a late night snack (hopefully not the same place!).
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