By Margee Herring and John Rives
“Aging in Place” is a growing trend for those growing older. Studies, opinion papers, and family conversations around the dinner table all agree that those 65 and older prefer, and will benefit from, staying in homes that accommodate independence and keep them connected to neighbors, friends and all that’s familiar.
To that end, McKee Homes is providing adaptive features in homes that help keep residents from entering institutional long term care facilities as they age. Many aging in place features are hardly noticeable and are designed to accommodate future modifications or needs. These can include wider hallways and door openings that can later accommodate a wheelchair; door knobs that are horizontal levers, and therefore more easily grasped by arthritic hands; stacked closets that can later become an elevator shaft; or wall construction with blocking for future railings and grab bars.
“Homes built for aging-in-place are simply more thoughtful about accommodating residents’ needs over time,” says Pat McKee of McKee Homes. And such features also better serve those who are disabled or recovering from injury. A zero-threshold doorway or shower entry is aesthetically elegant while also creating no obstacle for those whose mobility may be challenged.
Such features were critical for a home McKee recently built for SGT (Ret) Jonathan Rivenbark, an army veteran who was disabled while serving in Afghanistan. The 2,300 sq. ft. home featured wider door openings and hallways, lower counters in the kitchen and bathrooms, zero-threshold entries at showers and exterior doors, and a sidewalk surrounding the home to better accommodate SGT (Ret) Rivenbark’s disabilities and his wheelchair. McKee Homes had previously built three adaptive homes for military veterans.
For more information, please visit our Specially Adapted Housing web page.