Universal Design Makes Livin’ Easier

Last month, we talked about four of the 12 Universal Design features identified by AARP that can be incorporated into your home if you are planning to Age in Place.  You’ll recall that Universal Design makes the living space usable for anyone, regardless of ability or age.  Here are four more:

Reachable, rocker-style light switchesNot only are the switches important, the lighting itself is key.  Make sure any space is well lit.  Dim lighting and failing eye sight can result in falls.  Switches should be at a height that can be reached from a sitting position, and they should be easily accessible – not tucked away around a corner or under a cabinet.  The rocker-style simply makes them easy to manipulate, vs. a knob that needs turned.

Lever-style door handles and faucets – Bathroom remodels or kitchen remodels should incorporate faucets with lever handles rather than separate knobs.  Again, these are simpler for older hands.  Lever door handles also mean less fumbling than with traditional door knobs.  

Kitchen Appliances with automatic shut-off – This is a great safety feature for any home – that’s why it’s part of Universal Design.

Non-slip flooring – Worth its own section for choices alone, non-slip flooring is a must as we age, not only in foot traffic areas, but also in showers and tubs.  There are lots of stylish and functional choices.

Next month, we conclude with the last four Universal Design features for Americans Aging in Place.