UNIVERSAL DESIGN MEANS YOUR HOME ADJUSTS TO YOUR CHANGING NEEDS / by Keith Moehle

Every day in the United States, approximately 10,000 people turn 65, and by the year 2035 an estimated 20 percent of our population will be 65 and older. This dramatic increase in older Americans, coupled with health and science helping us live longer, means more people are planning past retirement and well into their “Golden Years.”

When you add to this the fact that more and more seniors are opting to “age in place,” meaning they wish to stay in their homes as long as possible, it’s absolutely necessary to consider whether your home can handle this transition from an active lifestyle to one that can support an aging family member.

A recent study done by the AARP shows us that more than 60% of homes in San Antonio need at least one modification to enable the homeowner to age in place. These include things like installing a medical emergency response system, improved lighting, easier home access (ramps, wider doorways, chairlift, etc.), adding a room to the first floor and bathroom modifications.

When looking for a remodeler to help you with a project like this, it’s important to take into consideration whether their training and experience makes them a good partner in designing an environment that will allow you to stay in your home through this transition and beyond.

To address these needs, The National Association of the Remodeling industry created its Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP) designation. The program addresses the concept of universal design, meaning the home is functional for everyone who lives there.

KM BUILDERS’ general manager, Keith Moehle, earned his UDCP certification in 2013, which makes him uniquely suited to work with clients who have special needs within their homes. These needs include, but are not limited to:

·      Barrier-free entryways for family members in wheelchairs or using crutches/walkers

·      Garage lifts, ramps and elevators

·      Accessible bathrooms and bedrooms

·      User-friendly kitchens

·      Control over both natural and electric lighting along with easy access to switches

There are so many ways to make modifications to your existing house to allow you and your loved ones to age in place. Call us today at (210) 680-5626 for more information on how we can help you create a universal design plan in your home!