Universal Design is a concept, that make our living environment useful to everyone, physically able, physically challenged, children and the aging adult as well. It is a concept that is not only pleasing to the eye, but useful. After World War II there were large numbers of soldiers that returned home with physical disabilities that made it difficult for them to maneuver any environment. Builders met that demand the best they could. The result was an institutionalized appearance. Those same builders were building homes for a growing number of new, young families. The home you grew up in, running up and down stairs, racing through narrow hallways, isn't going to be as easy for the aging adult to maneuver as they age and start needing more care themselves.The principals of Universal Design allows “aging-in-place” or “achieving life care” at home possible.
The seven principles of universal design consider issues such as
- able to be used by all
- considers flexibility issues of the young, aging and disabled
- use of product should be simple and intuitive by nature
- use of product or environment should be user friendly and easily understood
- use of product or environment should allow for minimal tolerance for error
- environment and product should allow for minimal physical effort
- takes into consideration the size and space of the environment and the approach and use of that space
The wave of the future is here. If you are among the millions of aging adults who plan to live out their days in the family home, that doesn't mean there are not going to be changes to make. Home remodelers are increasingly turning to universal design principles when they build or remodel so that the home works for everybody, whatever their age or level of mobility. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders has Certified Aging-In-Place Specialists who provide home modifications specifically for an aging population. Visit www.nahb.org/category.aspx?sectionID=686
A Universal design home might include anything from extra-wide door frames for easy wheelchair passage to no-step entries to levers instead of doorknobs. There are even grab bars and other modifications to suit almost any decor for those who don't want any sign that their home is out of the ordinary.
Watch This Video to See the Possibilities
Home remodeling does not mean that you need to entirely redesign your home. The goal is to make a range of changes that result in your home being a comfortable, user-friendly, and a safer place to live for the aging adult. You can do it all at once, or in bits and pieces. As you fix or plan to remodel think of your future needs as you age. If it's time for a new toilet, why not install a higher one? You may want to consult a professional early in the evaluation process. A Certified Aging In Place Specialist can make recommendations specifically for the aging adult and develop a plan specific for the modifications you need now or for on the future.
Universal design is worth researching if you're considering remodeling a kitchen or bathroom yourself. None of us are getting any younger, and it will likely increase the resale value of your home.
If your goal is to stay in your home as you age, and live independently in your home for as long as possible. Simple modifications can help you avoid having to relocate simply because your home is too difficult to get around in. Check out these examples of handicapped accessible home changes that make living in your own home possible as well as attractive.
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The Caring Advocate...
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- Planning for home health care needs now will give you peace of mind
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- Enjoy you life outside your home while vacationing or volunteering knowing your prepared to handle a crisis
- Learn how advanced technology will insure your safety and well being at home
- Live comfortably and confidently in the place you most want to be in
| |Watch This Video to See More Possibilities For Universal Home Design