The idea of retirement conjures up images of spending time with grandkids, travel or dedicating time to your favorite hobbies. One important part of enjoying your golden years is living comfortably in your own home. If you or your loved one plans to live in their current home, aging-in-place modifications and smart home technology can increase comfort and safety.
Aging in place is more than living in your home, it is about enjoying your space safely, independently and comfortably regardless of your age or ability level. Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) professionals help people throughout the state find solutions to address the unique needs of aging adults, such as widening doorways or installing grab bars in showers, without sacrificing the aesthetic value of the home.
Installing smart home technology also offers a level of support for aging home owners. The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS), defines smart home technology as a product connected wirelessly or through the internet that can be remotely accessible with a mobile device. Smart home products such as thermostats, lighting and electronic locks are options for persons with mobility challenges and can complement other aging-in-place modifications.
A recent JCHS study asked remodelers about the home automation products or systems installed with aging-in-place renovations. The top home automated systems installed as part of an aging-in-place strategy included items related to safety and security (94 percent), climate control (83 percent) and lighting, electric and/or shade controls (67 percent). Remodelers reported that they most commonly received request for smart technology for the living room (94 percent), kitchen (93 percent) and home office (90 percent).
Aging home owners interested in renovations need to be able to find a remodeler who is knowledgeable about smart home technology and home modification. The CAPS designation helps home owners have confidence that they’re working with an expert in aging-in-place renovation. If you’d like to find a builder or remodeler in your area with a CAPS or other designation, contact your local association here. You can also search the online directory at nahb.org.