Everyone talks about the first home they bought but rarely do people talk about their last one. This might sound morbid but for those of us who want to stay in our own home when we get older, we need to ask the question “is this our last home?” As long as you are going to spend the time and money on a remodel, make sure it will accommodate you, or anyone else for that matter, as you grow older.
Keep the floor space open. No tight corners. Have different height work surfaces. These could be tables or countertops. Make sure lighting is good and you have contrasting colors for different horizontal surfaces. Faucets should have large, lever handles and storage in the lower cabinets should be drawers which allow you to retrieve items without getting on your knees and digging to the back of a cabinet.
Doorways should be wider (at least 32” clear) and hallways at least 42” and clear of obstructions. This is just common-sense advice for any space, right? It’s incorporating universal design features that make it better for anyone using or visiting the space.
As long as you plan ahead, you can always add items as needed. We are working on her bathroom now which will include blocking in the walls for all the places grab bars may be needed and a zero threshold shower because who wouldn’t want a spa-like bathroom for their own use!