Improving Your Home Through Universal Design

Improving Your Home Through Universal Design


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Do you have a long-term home plan? Will you downsize to a smaller place or move closer to the family? Or perhaps you plan to stay put in your current home for the long haul?

If you’re house-hunting with your golden years in mind, it’s vital to find a home that accommodates all physical abilities. Ask yourself, would this home be practical if I become less mobile? Or a step further, could this home become potentially dangerous if I become less mobile?

These kinds of questions may seem alarmist, but they’ll serve you well in determining what type of home is truly right for you. If you’re beginning a house-hunt or implementing changes to make your current home more universally accessible, you might want to address the following items listed below.

A considerable way to make your home more universally accessible is to make its pathways as clear as possible. Are there pieces of furniture blocking hall space or entrances or things that could trip people up? Does your home have a flow that facilitates smooth movement from room to room? Outside, is the path to your doorway lit at night? Are there any tree branches or overgrown shrubs blocking access to your home? This simple thinking exercise is an excellent way to spot easy changes you might make to increase your home’s accessibility!

The value that at the core of all universal design is assuring safety for any person in any space. Whether you’re young or old, mobile, or immobile, universal design is about creating environments that are available to everyone. Addressing accessibility concerns naturally results in increased safety. For example, installing a curbless bathtub that’s lower and easier to get in and out of makes your home a safer place as you age.

Many people struggle with arthritis or related issues that make gripping things more painful as they get older. A home filled with traditional doorknobs or small cabinet handles is just not going to cut it! We suggest replacing doorknobs with levers, adding large handle pulls to your cabinets, and swapping in lever style or touchless faucets throughout your home. Bonus: The new handles will be more natural for little grandchildren to grab onto as well.

Another project that goes far to provide home safety is installing strategic lighting. Motion sensor lights are ideal, but they aren’t the only option. Adding under cabinet lighting in the bathroom or kitchen is another smart idea. Guide lights in heavily trafficked hallways, and especially on staircases, are also helpful ways to ensure safety during those late-night bathroom trips!

If this post sparked ideas for your home, please give us a call. We’d love to help you transform your home into a place you can enjoy and grow into and for years to come!

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