Our existing architecture does not lend itself well to accomplishing any easy aging in place home remodels or handicap retrofits in Austin. In fact, there are more inaccessible homes in all of the US than there are accessible homes and 45% of these existing homes are owned by the baby boomers representing the oldest group of homeowners. Generally speaking in most residential US properties there are no easy ways to enter into bathrooms or utilize kitchens without coming into contact with one architectural barrier or another-especially if a wheelchair or walker is being used to help with mobility issues. Everything requires the proper clearance and distance for a new customized accessible route in your home to function properly.
But you say to yourself that your needed aging in place home modifications or bathroom accessibility basically require general home remodeling in Austin, Texas or in any other town for that matter. That is true but a specialized remodeling contractor holding a national CAPS certificate is who you need as a partner to insure that the accessibility issues of your home are solved correctly. With over 30 years of remodeling experience I obtained my registered CAPS certificate. By offering a design/build firm to my aging in place customers, I get personal satisfaction from giving my clients their independence back while the remain in their existing home. I provide home modification for independent living to all my customers of any age. Without the training required to earn the CAPS certificate on top of my decades of building knowledge I could not offer my customers such a thorough and complete solution for solving their accessibility issues. Only an experienced qualified remodeler holding a CAPS certificate has the qualifications to design an accessible route and perform the construction required to make it safe and functional for the AIP customer. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a person with mobility impairments be able to independently roll into his or her shower and be a part of that accomplishment.
Let's compare the alternative costs associated with aging in place verses when you already own your home. The more institutional alternative of assisted living accompanied by more medical expertise and staff training plus the access to emergency medical facilities is available as opposed to renting an apartment. These are two of the main alternative choices for seniors who decide not to remain in their own homes. According to a national study done in 2014, the average cost for assisted living ranged from $3,000 to $3,500 per month. However, if you decide to age in place in a high quality one bedroom apartment, the rent will run around $1,300 per month. Living in your own home or with loved ones represents a preference by most seniors and property taxes must be taken in account.
An average Aging in Place bathroom home modification providing total accessibility given there is a large space to remodel at onset will come in around $30,000. This can vary in many aspects if there is not enough room to change the existing floor plan. Smaller bathrooms can cost $15-20,000 but will not have the barrier free accessibility as the larger modified bathroom. Fully accessible kitchens will run on the average of $50,000 depending on the size of the existing kitchen. These are both one time costs for sustainability of a given lifestyle and location providing future independence and safety for the homeowner.
The best way to prepare for aging in place is to have a definite plan considering all possible outcomes and needs for those involved. Aging in place isn't for everyone like those with major health issues. For others with more independence, it can be a practical decision providing quality of life and safety for many years. Everyone's needs are different as we age and one must allow for flexibility and change for all future decisions.