We Need to Create Communities for a Lifetime

Too many of us are outgrowing our homes and communities. They’re not becoming too small, like children’s clothes, but they just don’t fit us very well as we get older. It’s time to make some changes. So to advance the conversation about what the future of housing might look like, AARP and AARP Foundation collaborated with the Atlantic and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to organize a two-day summit on this critical issue last week. The summit’s …

A Home ‘Fit’ Remodeling Project: Finishing Touches

This is the final post in an AARP Livable Communities blog diary about a home remodeling project that is stylishly updating a Florida house (referred to here as the “Cate house”) while making it better suited for aging in place. To see photos of the entire project, follow the slideshow link at the end of this post. From start to finish, remodeling the Cate house cost about $50,000 and took four months of renovation and construction work. Every space in the home was …

Are You Ready for the Next Wave of Technology Change?

Digital Readiness Digital readiness refers to what people do with information and communications technology and what they know about the opportunities and risks of using it. It focuses on what technology people have: what it is, how to get it, and how to use it. The issue has become more important as digital networks extend far beyond home computers and phones to include more objects of everyday life such as appliances, cars, thermostats and clothing. This growing “Internet of Things” …

A Home ‘Fit’ Remodeling Project: The Entryway

This is entry No. 3 in an AARP Livable Communities blog diary about a home remodeling project to make a Florida house better suited for aging in place.  The entryway is one of the most important areas that need to be addressed in a home for life design. No steps, a minimal threshold and a 36-inch clearance maximize access into and out of the home for people of all ages and abilities. Automatic lighting increases visibility and safety, while user-friendly locks …

A Home ‘Fit’ Remodeling Project: Finding the Experts

The following is entry No. 2 in an AARP Livable Communities blog diary about a home remodeling project to make a Florida house better suited for aging in place.  A “home for life” design involves finding the right experts who can work collaboratively to ensure that all of the personal and home needs fit in the remodel. The website of the National Association of Home Builders includes a resources page with information about Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS), many of whom are home …

A Home ‘Fit’ Remodeling Project: Getting Started

As an occupational therapist and aging-in-place consultant, I am frequently asked to assess a home for its ability to meet the functional needs of the people who are or will be living in it. Sometimes I’m called in by a caregiver who needs advice about how to make bathing or transporting a resident of the home easier. Other times I’m consulting for retirees who want to redesign their home for accessibility due to common aging ailments such as arthritis, diminished …