How to Inspect a Home for Aging in Place
November 7, 2018 |
By 2030, one out of every three Americans will be 50 years of age, or older and one in five will be 65 or older. It is estimated that 87 percent of adults over the age of 65 want to remain in their current home and community as they grow older.
Unfortunately, as a person ages, their ability to get around the house and maintain it like they used to diminish. The good news is, there are certain upgrades that can be made to a home to make it accessible to those with limited mobility or other limitations that develop as they age.
As a home inspector, it’s important to know what to look for, so you can make the right recommendations to those looking to make these changes.
Are you inspecting a home where the owner uses a wheelchair to get around? If so, one upgrade to recommend is making the bathroom larger, to allow space for the wheelchair. In addition to increasing the space in the bathroom, there are other features that can help prevent slips and falls. It has been shown that 80 percent of injury-causing slips and falls in the elderly occur in the bathroom. Other things to look for when inspecting the bathroom include handrails in the tub and non-slip coatings.
Install a Stair Lift
Have you been tasked with inspecting a home with stairs? If an individual uses a wheelchair, but their house has stairs, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to get from the upper to lower level safely.If this is the case, installing a stair lift to provide easier access to the occupant should be recommended. For the owner of the home, this is a safe, practical and economical way to make houses with stairs more accessible for seniors who have limited mobility.
Being in a wheelchair can also make cooking and preparing food in the kitchen more challenging. Home inspectors can recommend lowering the countertops. This can be done to make the counters accessible to those in wheelchairs, and in many cases, it can be done for an affordable price.
As a home inspector, you are tasked with helping to make a home safer for elderly individuals who may have limited mobility. Using the information here can help ensure you make the right considerations and recommendations during your inspection.