Making an ‘Aging in Place’ Home

We’re debating whether to move in retirement or remodel our existing home. In either case, we’re trying to figure out what features, at a minimum, we should look for in a new house—or add to our current house—so that we can stay in our home, as we get older. Does the housing industry have any guidelines or requirements for retirees? “Aging in place” is a hot topic. Three resources can help a great deal. Start with a report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University: “Housing America’s Older Adults: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population.” The study identifies five features, in particular, that make for safe and accessible homes: no-step entries; single-floor living; switches and outlets reachable at any height; extra-wide hallways and doors; and lever-style door and faucet handles.


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