The American Population is Rapidly Aging
Across the United States, millions of Gen X-ers, Baby Boomers and other American seniors hope to remain in their homes as they age. Unfortunately, not all homes are suitable for seniors. At VanderBeken Remodel, we help homeowners in Snohomish County, Washington modify their properties to improve safety and accessibility. To learn all about aging in place remodeling, follow below.
Most Americans Hope to Age in Place
According to an AARP survey published in November 2021, “77 percent of older adults want to remain in their homes as they age. Despite isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 90% of Americans over the age of 65 hope to stay in their current homes. If possible, they prefer to do so for the rest of their lives.
Though most older Americans wish to remain in their homes, there are some barriers. The rising cost of living, disability rates and life expectancy can make doing so prohibitively expensive and difficult. In November 2021, the World Health Organization noted that “the number of people with disabilities are dramatically increasing." This is "due to demographic trends and increases in chronic health conditions, among other causes.” More than a billion people worldwide currently live with one or more disabilities.
VanderBeken Remodel Helps Homeowners Age in Place Safely and Comfortably
At Vanderbeken Remodel, we help people age in place by renovating homes to match their specific needs. As HUD notes in this resource, “home environments that do not meet the changing needs of aging residents can prevent successful aging in place.”
Thankfully, there are dozens of modifications that “can make it easier for aging residents to navigate through and live in their homes." Depending on their needs, they can do so with or without assistance.
Aging in Place Remodeling in Snohomish County
The team at VanderBeken Remodel has over forty years of experience in the construction industry. Our team actually specializes in aging-in-place home modifications. In fact, both Ron and Jennifer VanderBeken are Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS). You might need a whole home remodel or just a few fixes. Either way, our team can transform your space into one that will support you as you age.
We understand that many seniors in Snohomish County live alone or with partners of the same age. We also understand that a growing share of seniors live with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses. Whether you struggle with mobility, memory, hearing or vision issues, our team can help modify your current home to better serve you. In short, we deliver the best results possible to elderly homeowners in Washington State.
Below, we give each Snohomish and King County senior information about aging in place. We answer all your frequently asked questions about how homeowners can age in place. We also outline how much renovations cost and explain where to find the best Snohomish aging in place remodelers. From installing grab bars to relocating the primary suite, we also describe our services and the improvements most frequently executed by our team.
FAQs About Aging in Place Remodeling in Snohomish County
How do older adults plan for aging in place?
According to Jennifer Molinsky from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the homeownership rate amongst older American adults is nearly 80%. Unfortunately, older homeowners carry more mortgage debt than previous generations. Molinsky notes that "the share of homeowners age 65 and over with housing debt doubled from 1989 to 2019, from 21 to 42 percent." The increase in elderly homeowners has been even more significant. She writes that "amongst owners age 80 and over, 27 percent were carrying mortgage debt in 2019, compared with 3 percent in 1989."
As such, budgeting is a major part of planning to age in place. Discussing modifications to your current home and affordable in-home services -- like assistance from caregivers -- is part of setting this budget. Aging in place can help senior homeowners and their families avoid costly assisted living communities and ADHC programs. Because they enhance health and safety at home, certain home improvements related to aging-in-place are even eligible for tax deductions.
What is the most common aging in place remodeling project?
Simple, relatively inexpensive remodeling projects like updating light fixtures, mounting railings and laying floor grip tape are all quite common. In "Six home modifications to help you age in place" for CNBC, Kelli B. Grant identifies some of the most popular improvements for seniors.
Referencing a recent Houzz survey, Grant writes that "twenty-nine percent [of seniors who conducted home modifications] removed trip hazards." A whopping "26 percent installed grab bars." Others focus on widening doorways to better accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. Grant writes that "16 percent widened a kitchen door, 11 widened a bathroom door [and] 6 widened a door or hallway somewhere else."
Updating the kitchen and/or bathroom to better serve the evolving needs of senior homeowners is also fairly common. Of those surveyed by Houzz, 28% altered their kitchen's layout. Many added new places to sit while cooking, installed cabinets that are easier to access, lowered counters or replaced appliances. 26% of those surveyed made their bathrooms more accessible by installing curbless showers, updating the layout, adding seating or raising the toilets.
To determine which renovation projects are right for you or an elderly family member, consider working with a National Association of Home Builders' "Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS)" like VanderBeken Remodel. For an exhaustive list of recommended modifications check out our blog post "12 Home Improvements to Support Aging in Place."
What does it mean to design for aging in place?
To design for aging-in-place means to modify an existing property or build a new property that prioritizes the evolving needs of our senior community. This is sometimes referred to as "universal home design" because it makes homes accessible to clients of all abilities and ages.
What is universal design?
According to the University of Washington, "universal design is the process of creating products that are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities." Universal design improves accessibility to public spaces and private residences for disabled and elderly persons. However, it also "typically results in product features that benefit a variety of users, not just people with disabilities."
Is aging-in-place remodeling more expensive?
The cost of most aging-in-place remodeling projects is still far less than what you might spend on a nursing home. Of course, some home modifications can be more expensive.
Still, the alternatives to aging in place present major recurring costs. Referencing data from LongTermCare.gov, this resource notes "the average cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home is $6,844 per month." The average cost of an entirely "private room is $7,698 a month." This home remodeling cost guide will provide additional information about how much you might expect to pay for aging-in-place modification services, also commonly referred to as "Universal Design".
What is an in-law suite, and is it a good investment?
An in-law suite is an attached or detached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or home addition occupied by paid caregivers, family, friends or renters. These "suites" can be as large as a two-bedroom apartment or as small as a primary suite.
In-law suites are also referred to as guest cottages, granny houses and mother-in-law suites. Due to both the affordable housing crisis and a recent increase in multigenerational households, in-law suites are becoming more common in America.
Homeowners can use in-law suites as rental units, as apartments for live-in nurses and to house family and friends. As such, these additions can be a worthwhile investment. To learn more about the value of home additions, head over to our resource "Snohomish County ADUs and Home Additions."
Why should I work with a Certified Aging-in-Place remodeler?
There are many reasons to work with a Certified Aging-in-Place remodeler like our firm's Ron and Jennifer VanderBeken. Both Ron and Jennifer have earned a CAPS designation -- meaning they have special knowledge in this sector of the industry. This post from AARP explains how CAPS help adapt existing homes to the current and future needs of seniors.
According to AARP, the NAHB and AARP worked together to develop "the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation." This designation "is achieved through training and testing during a multicourse educational program." CAPS like Jennifer and Ron understand the "unique needs of the older adult population and [are] knowledgeable about, aging-in-place home modifications." They also have the knowledge needed to address "common barriers."
Any CAPS should be able to "recommend updates that will help a person live independently in his or her own home." He or she should also be able to work with an occupational therapist or OT. Together, an OT and CAPS can create "a home modification or build plan based on the safety and functional needs of an individual." CAPS collaborate with GC's, interior designers, structural engineers and others to ensure these modifications are safe and sound for their clients.
Interested in Updating Your Home to Age in Place?
If you or a loved one hopes to age in place but must modify their home, schedule a call with us. VanderBeken Remodel has the expertise needed to help you and your family create a plan for safely, securely and healthily aging in place. For more information about our approach to remodeling, read through our process.
VanderBeken Remodel Service Area for Aging in Place Remodeling in Snohomish County
Our service area for bathroom remodels currently includes:
- Edmonds, WA
- Everett, WA
- Lake Stevens, WA
- Marysville, WA
- Mill Creek, WA
- Mukilteo, WA
- Snohomish, WA
Founded in 2007, VanderBeken Remodel is based in Marysville, WA and is passionate about building beautiful spaces for fantastic people in Snohomish County!