When I talk to families, give presentations to organizations, present webinars or just reading my email, I’m always answering a lot of questions. Questions about home design, life style, aging parents, baby boomers, millennials and so on.
I decided to write the most frequently asked questions along with my response so you can possibly get answers to some of your questions.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: How does The Ageless Home™ give a big return on my investment?
A: Creating an environment that allows anyone at any age to function in it easily is the game winner. I talk about The Ageless Home often and the concept is just that – design and product layout that allows a 6’10” person and a 5’1” person to both be independent using the same design. A 105 y/o and a 5 y/o benefit from the same design.
Example: Bathroom: have a barrier free shower installed. No climbing over a tub/easy access for all. Child friendly
Kitchen: no upper cabinets. Lower base drawers hold everything you need. Easy access for all
Stepless Entry: no steps to climb. Great for baby strollers, moving in items, a wheelchair. Easy access
Raise Appliances: washer/dryer/dishwasher (raise it up to eliminate bending)
You have to think of it this way as well – you want to sell your house and it has an ageless design. Your list of buyers just increased because the house allows people of different ages with different needs to buy it. Don’t you want a house that will be in demand?
Q: How can I keep my parent(s) living close to me, yet give them their independence?
A: Depending on what your town/county allows, putting a Cottage or a detached/private entry
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on the property of the main house is a solution.
ADU’s are a concept that is well received on the West coast more so than the East coast, but the movement is slowly going east. ADU’s are typically no larger than 800 sq/ft.
Cottage units go by many names and one being granny pods. Cottages have a range in sizes typically from 600 sq/ft to 1200 sq/ft. Both offer a good solution to having someone close to you without living in your direct space.
Q: How can I expand the space in my house for another adult without a lot of construction time?
A: I work with families that need additional space for various reasons. Children, office, den or a family member who is moving (back) in. A great solution that gives you the space you need without the long construction building time is a modular home addition. What most people don’t realize is that a modular home addition/suites can be added to a stick built house. The beauty of modular is that the addition is built at an offsite construction location and delivered to your home. The addition is attached to your home in a limited amount of time compared to a typical construction built on site.
For the most part, Modular and stick built homes contain the same material, design, labor and anything else you can think of. The difference is that modular is home building offsite in a controlled environment whereby stick building is onsite.
Q: What do you mean to be proactive when building a new home?
A: Simple – think of your Future Self. We like to reminisce and talk about our youth but rarely do we think ahead of how we will be 10 years from now. Think of the people around you that are older. Do they have difficulties living in their house? If so, what are the difficulties? By answering those questions you will see that the design and easy use of a house is paramount from the start! The Ageless Home™ address exactly that. Home design and product placement that allows anyone at any age to be independent the first time!
Think of your future guests. Will they all be the same height, have the same abilities, and be able to operate in your home easily? Being proactive is being able to think ahead of where you are now to a place where you most likely will be. Age eludes no one!
Q: How much will it cost for me to Age In Place?
A: Aging in Place is a 5 legged table that you need to understand and those legs are: Home Design and Product Placement, Financial, Health, Transportation and Social Engagement. Yes, you can live at home until your last breath but are you supporting the 5 legs for your table?
The very next question I hear is “how much will it cost to remain at home later in life?”
The BEST bit of information I found was by Genworth Financial. They created The Cost Of Care calculator and it is second to none. You insert your state and location and the calculator will give you an estimated cost on home services that might be needed such as homecare, adult day care, assisted living and nursing home expenses. You can get a daily, monthly or annual figure.
Being educated about your choices removes a burden from your mind.