Baby boomers own 48% of all homes.
The ability of Boomers to remain in their home will depend on how well their homes can adapt to the boomer’s changing needs. None of us have a crystal ball to foresee if a walker or wheelchair is in our future or if disease will strike therefore it makes good sense and provides peace of mind to assess your current home.
In a recent AARP study, survey respondents were asked
“How well do you think your home is able to meet your physical needs as you grow older?”
- 51% felt their homes could meet their needs “very well”
- 37% reported they felt their home could “somewhat” meet their needs
- 12% felt their home is “not likely” to meet their physical needs
Many areas of the country already report a shortage of space at retirement homes and assisted living facilities. Many builders are incorporating smart design laden with support technology making it plausible for an aging population to remain independent, safe and comfortable. Such homes can recognize commands given through hand gestures and keep the individual in touch with their families should an emergency arise.
Move vs Improve
In many cases, the economics of “move vs improve” warrants a thorough assessment of one’s home. Home values have not fully recovered and equity may be significantly less than planned, add the typical expenses of marketing and selling a home, as well as relocation or moving expenses, and an aging homeowner may find they come out ahead to stay in their homes and remodel to suit their needs.
Procrastinator or Planner?
Without an urgent need such as catastrophic event (stroke, heart attack, accident) or the progressive decline of a condition or disease, many people have a tendency to procrastinate. Procrastinators often deny any need for home modifications and will do nothing until a health crisis forces a decision.
Planners are usually in good health but have an awareness of their future needs for home modifications. Planners are able to stretch out the modifications making the remodeling easier to afford.
All contractors are not trained equally!
In 2002, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in partnership with Home Innovation Research Labs, NAHB 50+ Housing Council and AARP, developed the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) program to work with boomers who will soon require home modifications. By March 2013, the program boasted a milestone of 5,000 graduates.
CAPS professionals are able to provide the best solutions for consumers to age-in-place safely and comfortably. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, many are also builders, general contractors, designers, architects and health care professionals such as occupational and physical therapists.