“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.
Adapted housing and adaptive home design are used in homes to allow people who are restricted to a wheelchair to have free access to most areas of the home including bathroom facilities. An adapted home can help someone confined to a wheelchair feel more self reliant and self confident. It allows them to do many things for themselves that they would otherwise need to have someone else help them with.
The Department of Veteran Affairs offers Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants to veterans or service members who meet qualification standards. SAH grants help Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities live independently in a barrier-free environment.
McKee Homes is one of the few homebuilders in North Carolina that is experienced with the SAH guidelines, processes and additional inspections; and will meet the necessary requirements with our adaptive floor plans and new home construction.
One of the main aspects of adaptive design is making sure that someone in a wheelchair can navigate entrances, doorways, hallways and living spaces with plenty of room to maneuver and turn around. Countertops, light switches and wall outlets need to be at the correct height so someone in a wheelchair can easily reach them. This is especially important when it comes to bathroom facilities such as toilets, sinks and showers.
The best adaptive housing floor plans are single-story homes with no stairs and easy access to the house from the garage. The entrance to the home should be covered and have plenty of room to open the door. McKee Homes offers over a dozen single-story floor plans which can be easily adapted to meet the specific requirements of wounded veterans, aging retirees, or other physically disabled people. One of the communities we build in, The Cottages at North Ramsey in Fayetteville, N.C., close to Fort Bragg, includes all exterior home and yard maintenance taken care of by the homeowners association.
McKee Homes has worked with many disabled veterans and even adapted some of our two-story homes for those with specific needs. We are happy to discuss the customization of almost any of our floor plans to meet the needs of anyone who is physically disabled to make sure their new home feels like home and help them feel comfortable and self reliant.