Do you want to remain in your home and community, even when facing chronic disease, disability or short term injury? If you said yes, you are like many people across our great state. Our homes, communities, and technology are significant barriers to remaining independent.
TEDx Talk: The need for universal design for all
During the Summer of 2016, I had the privilege of developing a TEDx Rapid City video. Wonderful experience that allowed me to provide an overview of barriers to aging in place that are not widely discussed.
Discussing Aging in Place
Discussing aging in place differently is critical to achieving our goal of remaining in our home and community. Accessible housing is more than just an issue for the aged. At any point we could find ourselves or a loved one facing temporary injury or medical diagnosis that impacts the ability to remain in our home or community. When that day arrives, we may be forced to make a difficult decision of leaving the home and community we love.
The good news is that we can prevent this from happening. By proactively incorporating design practices that account for the diversity of the human body, we make possible the lifelong independence we all crave.
Universal Design Considerations
Younger people are critical for making the dream of lifelong independence a reality. The decisions they make about housing purchases and remodeling are critical to eliminating barriers to lifelong independence. For example, including universal design when remodeling a bathroom ensures the people of all abilities can use the bathroom for personal grooming needs.
This is an introduction to a series of articles that will provide more detailed information to help us achieve our goal of aging in place. Below you will find the various topics that must be discussed to develop your own plan for aging in place.
- What is Accessibility?
- Bathroom Design for Independence
- Kitchen Design for Independence
- Laundry Room Design
- Specialty features (e.g. cabinets that lower)
- Universal design
- Building from the ground up
- Age-friendly communities
- Livable communities (AARP)
- Mainstream solutions
Over the course of this article series, you will find that ranch-style homes and the elimination of steps are not the only option for lifelong independence. Stayed tuned to learn more!