May is National Home Remodeling Month, which focuses on the benefits of remodeling and working with professional remodelers to upgrade, repair and maintain homes. One area that consumers can look at to improve the livability of their home is aging-in-place design ideas.
According to NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey for the first quarter, 98% of remodelers cited that most or some of their consumers are familiar with the aging-in-place concept. That share was 75% in Q4 2004, indicating a significant increase in awareness among consumers over the last two decades.
“As the average age of home owners rises, we are seeing that more and more people are understanding the benefits of remodeling to handle the needs of aging in place,” stated Alan Archuleta, NAHB Remodelers Council Chair. “This awareness is driven by technology, the cost of elder care and the idea of staying in the homes they love!”
More than three-fourths of remodelers (76%) indicated that requests for aging-in-place features have significantly or somewhat increased over the past five years. Home owners who request aging-in-place projects are usually 65 years or older (75%) or 55 to 64 years (70%). The two most common reasons for undertaking aging-in-place projects are planning ahead for future needs (88%) and living with older parents (50%).
Grab bars are the most common aging-in-place project, with 93% of remodelers reporting this job in the last year. They are followed by curb-less showers (83%), higher toilets (77%), wider doorways (63%), and adding lighting/task lighting (49%).
To view the results from NAHB’s RMI survey in tandem with the Aging-in-Place (AIP) Special Questions, please consult the full survey report. NAHB Economist Eric Lynch also provides additional details in this Eye on Housing post.