December 11th, 2023

Comfort for Now and Security for the Future: Aging in Place Design

What is Aging In Place (AIP) Design?

At The Homes at Berry Ridge, we know that your home should grow with you through the chapters of your life. Thoughtful choices during design and construction ensure a house that is flexible and comfortable now and in the future.

Aging in place (AIP) refers to the intentional and thoughtful planning of living spaces to accommodate individuals as they age so they can maintain independence and comfort in their homes throughout their lives. While the term may suggest a focus on older adults, it is a beneficial approach for individuals of any stage in life. Injury and illness lead all people to benefit from AIP design, regardless of age.

Legacy Builders NRV can implement AIP design elements for the Homes at Berry Ridge. Designing them into your home now ensures seamless and gradual integration of features that support accessibility and safety. It also future-proofs your living space. This proactive approach enhances your home’s overall functionality and aesthetic appeal, making it more adaptable to evolving needs. By incorporating features such as future elevator spaces, wider hallways, zoned HVAC systems, smart home technology, low-maintenance exteriors, and accessible bathroom fixtures early on, you create a living environment that promotes a sense of security, convenience, and longevity. Embracing AIP design is a strategic investment in your future well-being, providing peace of mind and eliminating the need for major renovations later in life.

Asian senior or elderly old lady woman patient use toilet handle security in nursing hospital ward : healthy strong medical concept.

Examples of AIP Design

Homes designed with AIP considerations prioritize features that enhance accessibility and comfort for residents throughout their lives. Critical home elements include zero-step entrances, wider doorways to accommodate mobility aids, well-lit spaces for improved visibility, and rocker light switches for easier manipulation. These thoughtful additions cater to immediate needs and contribute to a versatile living environment that can adapt to changing requirements over time. 

“Aging in place design is not just for the elderly. It is a future investment that not only anticipates our youthful “fractures” in life but enhances the value of your home by making it accommodating to all age groups.” – Bill Aden

AIP Design Element Examples:

  • Wider Doorways and Hallways feel spacious and comfortable for all users, but they also facilitate easy movement for people using mobility aids such as crutches, wheelchairs, or walkers.
  • Zero-threshold entries eliminate barriers between rooms and outdoor spaces, ensuring trip-free transitions.
  • Well-lit spaces use bright, indirect lighting in all rooms and staircases to enhance visibility and reduce the likelihood of falls and accidents.
  • Handrails and Grab Bars are helpful in more ways than just the bathroom. Our designers can add luxurious thick wainscoting and chair rails that provide additional support and stability. Leaving specific spaces for future grab bars is an easy way to future-proof your home.
  • Elevators for Multi-Level Accessibility can be installed now or planned for the future. Residential elevators provide lifelong accessibility throughout every corner of your home.
  • Open Floor Plans and Flex Spaces accommodate the evolving needs of your family and guests. This layout provides versatility for changing circumstances while maintaining a spacious and accessible environment.
  • Optional Easy to Manipulate Finishings like rocker panel light switches, lever-style door handles, and keyless door locks offer an elegant decor today while ensuring practicality and adaptability for the future.
  • Smart Home Technology offers voice-activated controls, which help make daily tasks more accessible for individuals with mobility or dexterity challenges. It also provides safety features such as automatic shut-off valves for gas and water leaks, motion-activated lighting, and video monitoring systems.

middle aged man is opening his oven in the kitchen

Kitchen AIP Design

Kitchens are the heart of most homes. As such, AIP design is crucial as it ensures that this central space remains accessible and functional for individuals of all ages. By incorporating thoughtful design features, AIP design promotes inclusivity, allowing everyone to participate comfortably in daily social and culinary activities regardless of age or ability.

Examples of AIP kitchen design features:

  • Pull-out shelves in Cabinets to eliminate the need for excessive reaching and provide easy access to stored items.
  • Motion-detecting or Lever-Style Faucets are easy to operate.
  • Under-cabinet lighting and Task Lighting enhance visibility and reduce shadows, making food preparation safer and more accessible while highlighting your elegant, natural stone counter.
  • Easy-to-reach appliances such as ovens, microwaves, and dishwashers can be positioned at accessible heights to minimize bending or reaching. For example, drawer microwaves reduce countertop clutter, provide a seamless cabinet view, and are easy to use for people standing or sitting.
  • Wide Walkways between countertops and kitchen islands to accommodate mobility aids and promote easy movement, making cooking a more comfortable experience for all.
  • D-Pull Cabinet Hardware is designed for easy gripping, providing a comfortable and accessible option for opening cabinets.
  • Non-slip flooring options can reduce the risk of accidents, especially in areas prone to spills or water splashes.
  • Adaptable Countertop Heights allow individuals of different heights and abilities to comfortably use the space, promoting inclusivity and ease of use.

Bathroom AIP Design

Despite being one of the smallest rooms in a home, the bathroom is the most common site for accidents spanning all age groups. By making considerate design choices, you can enhance the safety of your bathroom both presently and for the years to come. Your home’s design can incorporate an array of safety features that combine an elegant aesthetic with functionality and security.

Examples of accessible design options include:

  • Grab bars have evolved beyond mere utilitarian pipes. Stylish and robust options are now available, even for other purposes, such as a towel rack or a toilet paper holder. Built-in benches and shaving shelves can also be strategically placed, offering essential support and stability.
  • Curbless showers, celebrated for their luxurious appeal, incorporate a low or no threshold. They provide effortless entry and reduce the risk of tripping. These showers are a must-have for those aspiring to create a high-end and sophisticated bathroom.
  • Multiple and Adjustable Showerheads can cater to individuals with diverse height and mobility needs while creating a lavish spa ambiance.
  • Water Closets Designed for Mobility may incorporate grab bars on both sides, an elongated bowl, and a comfort-height toilet featuring a raised seat for easier sitting and standing. This thoughtful design caters specifically to individuals facing mobility challenges.
  • Accessible Sink Faucets with lever-style handles or touchless options are easy to operate, accommodating individuals with limited hand strength.
  • Non-slip flooring in wet conditions, using luxurious natural stone and tile options, can minimize the risk of slips and falls.
  • Built-in shower Benches provide a safe and stable seating option for individuals with injuries or limited mobility, making showering more accessible and comfortable. They can also be a resting spot during daily grooming tasks.

Enhancing Inclusivity and Peace of Mind

In addition to accommodating the normal aging process, AIP design is important for unexpected injuries or illnesses that may limit individuals in their homes. Implementing these thoughtful design features makes the home more accessible and safe for those facing temporary or permanent limitations. This ensures everyone can continue comfortably and safely residing in their home, regardless of unforeseen circumstances. AIP design promotes inclusivity and provides peace of mind for individuals and families alike.

AIP Design is the Right Choice for Now and the Future

Incorporating AIP designs into your home enhances its aesthetic appeal and ensures a future of independence and security. While luxurious, these thoughtful modifications go beyond aesthetics to foster an environment that supports changing needs over time. From accessible features that promote ease of movement to elements ensuring safety, the investment in AIP design caters to immediate concerns and increases the home’s overall resale value. By embracing these design principles now, you are not just creating a beautiful living space but investing in a home that adapts gracefully to life’s evolving demands while ensuring lasting comfort and security.