Aging–In-Place: Phoenix Style
Baby Boomers, people born between 1946 and 1964, are not only in the process of retiring, but also becoming empty nesters. For Boomers, being retired doesn’t means sitting on the sofa and watching old game show reruns all the day long. Older adults are more active than ever before, but at the same time they need to be mindful of their everyday environment and what may be required to continue to enjoy their independent living.
What comes into play is that the Baby Boomer’s larger “family” home is no longer a necessity. What many Boomers need is a smaller, more manageable home that they can age-in-place comfortably. That doesn’t mean a bare-bones, cramped home in a cookie-cutter neighborhood or complex. It means a home designed and setup to accentuate an active senior lifestyle. With a smarter design, their next home can truly be their home for the rest of their life.
Life Changes As We Age
Life happens and we are all going to go through many changes in our physical abilities as we age. Some of the changes we may experience are:
- A reduction in vision
- A decrease in physical strength
- Reduced hearing
- Changes in mobility
Taking these factors into consideration helps older Americans plan for aging in place and not being forced to give up their independent lifestyle.
Important Design Aspects
Stairs represent a major safety hazard as people age. That doesn’t mean that a penthouse condo is out of the question, an elevator easily solves that problem. But what is important is living on one floor only along with an open floor plan.
Extra wide doors and hallways will be a plus. There may come a time when using a wheelchair, a mobility scooter, or a walker is required. Wide doorways and hallways will be much appreciated in that event. Walk-in closets and walk-in pantries also aid in overall maneuverability.
Grab bars strategically located near bathtubs, showers, and toilets are an appreciated feature that should be considered. Also, a seat built into the shower itself can be helpful down the road.
Smart home features are being included in the majority of today’s newer homes, and they can be just as important to seniors. Being able to manage security, lights, and the thermostat isn’t just for younger adults. And how about a home theater room? Today’s projectors can now also be controlled by a Smartphone and there is nothing like watching a great movie without having to venture out to a theater. Older in years does not mean that you can’t be just as technically savvy as our younger generation .
Quality of life! Living in the “Valley of the Sun” means bright, sunny days, not dreary, rainy weather. Sunshine is good for people’s emotional and physical health. Phoenix is a great place to live and retire. There are so many outdoor activities to enjoy; great dining, sporting events, biking and walking trails, not to mention golfing.
Finding the right home, with the right features, for an aging-in-place lifestyle is not an impossible task. Talk to a realtor about your requirements and he/she will be able to show you many different options that will set you up for the life you truly want to live for the rest of your life.