There are many options for those reaching retirement who want to remain in their homes long-term. We will be exploring one solution in our four-part series about Next Generation Solutions.
Baby Boomers are creating a new demand for solutions in the home. More frequently this generation is choosing to age-in-place rather than leaving their longtime home in their later years. However, this creates a need for stylish and simple solutions that meld comfort with utility. As you will see, these are not easy to combine, but the answers do exist.
The generation approaching their older years (65 and older) is one of the largest generations the United States has ever seen. In 2009, the older population of individuals 65 and older consisted of 39.6 million Americans or 12.9% of the population. This meant that approximately one out of every eight US citizens fell into this age category. However, the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that by the year 2030, 72.1 million Americans will belong to this 65 and older age bracket. 19% of the total US population will be over 65 in just 21 years; a jump of more than 200% since the year 2000.
According to the National Aging in Place Council (NAIPC), a growing number of Americans are modifying their homes to make them more user-friendly as they age, rather than selling their homes and moving into retirement villages or assisted-living quarters. However, not many homes are equipped to deal with this aging-in-place movement. As individuals grow older, many begin to require adaptations in the home in order to make their older years comfortable, safe and useful.
One adaptation necessary in this age-in-place trend exists in the bathroom. The bathroom is currently the second most dangerous room in the home for those 65 and older, with falls around the tub or shower accounting for more than 1/3 of the falls. In order to lower these rates and to allow for the possibility of wheelchair accessible bathing, barrier-free or curb-less entries have become vital to aging homeowners. But the demand for safety has now combined with a desire for a polished and stylish finish that does not appear institutional.
How can these two requirements be met simultaneously? Read further in our next post, The Next Generation Solution, Part 2.