According to the 2003 NAHB Builder Survey sponsored by NAHB and Countrywide Home Loans, a significant number of builders are already including aging-in-place features in homes. Many homes built today — especially in active adult communities and senior apartments — are designed with the following features to allow residents to live there longer and to facilitate daily activities such as bathing, cooking or climbing stairs:
- At least one bedroom and bathroom on the first floor. More than 80% of the builders who were surveyed include a full bath on the entry level, while more than half put the master bedroom on the first floor, allowing residents to adapt the lower floor for possible one-level living.
- Conveniently located and easy-to-use controls and handles. More than 80% of builders include lever door handles in new homes. Many of them also install raised electrical outlets, electrical switches positioned slightly lower and thermostats with large, easy-to-read numbers.
- Extra maneuvering space throughout the home. Sixty percent of the builders who were surveyed include wider doors and hallways, making the home more accessible to residents of all ages.
- No-step entrances. Sixty percent, if possible, have at least one entry without steps; this creates easier access for everyone, regardless of their ability.
- Larger bathrooms with safety features. More than 60% of builders reported that they were offering bigger bathrooms and features such as grab bars. Extra space makes maneuvering easier for people with walkers, crutches and wheelchairs, as well as for caregivers, while grab bars help prevent falls.
- Improved lighting. Increasing numbers of builders are including multiple controls to limit the number of trips needed to turn lights on and off, as well as adjustable controls, or dimmers, to help prevent glare and ensure proper lighting. Task lighting is preferred for cooking, reading and shaving, as is softer light for night trips to the bathroom.
Aging-in-place features can be easily incorporated into existing homes.
To encourage consumers to hire professionals with experience in the aging-in-place field, the NAHB Remodelors™ Council is stepping up its efforts to publicize Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) professional designation. CAPS professionals are specially trained to design and build aesthetically enriching, barrier-free living environments, and can provide consumers with comprehensive and practical aging-in-place solutions.
For additional information on CAPS and other professional designations awarded by NAHB, click here.
To receive a full copy of the 2003 Seniors Housing Builder Survey, click here and scroll down to 5/22/2003.
Learn More About Seniors Housing Through the Seniors Housing Council
To learn more about seniors housing or boomers, join the NAHB Seniors Housing Council. The council provides information, education, networking and recognition opportunities for its members and represents NAHB on seniors housing issues. For more details, e-mail Jeff Jenkins or call him at 800-368-5242 x8292.
BuilderBooks.com Has Publications About Seniors Housing
BuilderBooks.com offers a variety of publications about the seniors housing market. To view or purchase these publications, click here and type “seniors” in the search engine.
2004 Seniors Housing Symposium
To learn more about the seniors housing market, plan to attend the 2004 Seniors Housing Symposium, Building for Boomers & Beyond in Chicago from April 14-16. The symposium will focus on the lifestyle component of 50+ seniors housing.
University of Housing Offers CAPS Designation Program
The NAHB University of Housing offers the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation program that teaches the technical, business management and customer service skills essential to competing in the fastest growing segment of the residential remodeling industry: home modifications for the aging-in-place. For a complete list of current offerings, click here.
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