Designing Your Home for Aging in Place

Design, Accessibility, Supporting Environments Important

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Aging in Place is all the rage. And supportive services allow people to do just that. Part of aging in place is making sure your house is designed for it. Let's take a look at how to design your home for aging in place.

The term “aging in place” is defined by the Centers for Disease Control “as the ability to live in one’s own home and community, safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.

Homeowners want a strong connection to their:

  1. Home
  2. Neighborhood
  3. Friends
  4. Relatives
  5. Community

Universal Design and Visitability

It is important for you to understand your current and future residential living requirements. Universal design is frequently thought of as barrier-free living and incorporates features that make it simple for all people to safely move from one room to another as well as create safer functionality in day to day activities. 

Examples of these design considerations include:

  • Installation of standard electrical receptacles that are positioned above the floor so they are more easily accessible to all
  • Wider interior door widths
  • Flat entry areas into the home
  • Door and drawer handles that don’t require a person to “grip or twist the handles and storage spaces that are reachable by both short and tall.”

Visitability has three basic requirements:

  • One zero-step
  • Door widths with 32 inches of clear passage
  • One bathroom on the main floor that you can enter into with a wheelchair.

Connect with a Senior Real Estate Specialist

A REALTOR® with the designation of Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)®, is able to help customers whose focus is to age in place as well as help those searching for a property that affords them the opportunity to access the aging in place lifestyle.

Plan your living spaces so they are free from clutter to reduce injuries such as potential falls as well as to enhance living conditions that create a safer environment. Today, architecture and interior design options are created using aesthetically pleasing materials so that aging in place can be made and enjoyed by many as they continue along the journey of life. For consumers who are unsure of their approach to incorporating design elements for all ages, start with research. 

Access the Internet and search topics like: Aging in place, Universal design, AARP, Visitability.

 Experts who specialize in these services include: interior designers, SRES REALTORS®, Developers, Contractors, Professional organizations whose focus is Universal Design and Visitability.

People considering remaining in their home, or those looking to sell, making design changes or upgrades that support a growing aging population can create value.  Homeowners should keep a list of design options that appeal to all, including functionality as a top priority.   To learn more about aging in place, click on the links for your consideration. 

Links to learn more about designing your home for aging in place


“Aging In Place: what is it?” Retrieved from:

Keenan, T.A.  (2010), Home and Community Preferences of the 45+ Population.  Retrieved from:

"Redesign ideas you can do now to meet your needs as you get older," Washington Post (June 15, 2015)

“Universal Design,” Retrieved from:

 “Universal Design”, Retrieved from: National Association of Realtors: SRES®:

Visitability - what is it?  Retrieved from (July 6, 2015).

What is BLD®?  Retrieved from:

The RL Mace Design Institute.  Retrieved from:

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