Aging in Place Design Example

An accessible, single-level entrance is an example of Aging in Place design. Photo credit:, The Garden Route Company


Aging in Place is about creating design that will allow you to stay in your home comfortably for years, even as your health and physical needs advance with age. As the National Association for Home Builders (NAHB) puts it, aging in place means “living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level.”

McDonald Remodeling has a Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) expert, Greg Alsterlund, to help bring these design elements to your home. Elements can include open and single level floor plans, wider hallways, good lighting, slip-resistant flooring, and more functional kitchens. An important point is that these elements don’t have to come in the way of beautiful aesthetics and quality craftsmanship. McDonald Remodeling is all about finding the intersection of pragmatism and beautiful design.

Roundup on Aging in Place design

We’ve done a roundup of articles and blog posts to give an overview of Aging in Place design. Hopefully this will help you start to determine what you might want in your own home.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has a helpful overview of Aging in Place design, including reasons and resources for doing so. They include a series of questions to ask yourself, to help you consider the particular needs you have for your home. They also include an overview of the resources and expertise a CAPS professional can help bring to your remodeling project. And, they have an in-depth checklist of Aging in Place design elements that could help you being to review all the various updates and changes you might want to bring to your home.

The Washington Post has a great feature of the home of architect John Salmen, who created along with his wife a beautiful, playful design that fits their personalities but will accommodate them as they age. The article highlights the way that aging-in-place principles do not have to be the first, glaring design principle that you see. Writes author Katherine Salant, “Salmen has a playful manner, and so does his house. Nothing in it says ‘a place I can live when I’m frail and 90 years old.’ Instead, most visitors will find it to be a delightful renovation of a 1900’s bungalow with a newer addition on the back.”

On the website, you’ll find a top-ten list of trends in aging-in place design. These include drawer appliances, “doors that go away,” fewer wall cabinets in kitchens, and no-threshold showers. Author Mary Jo Peterson stresses the ways the Aging in Place design principles can be beneficial for all ages, and just general good design. On the use of more drawers than wall cabinets or higher storage, Mary Jo says, “Drawers could be called the great equalizer. All of us benefit from bringing things closer to us without straining. Even most moderately priced cabinetry offers drawers.”

Finally, Houzz has a series of Aging-in-Place design resolutions that will help you think about various ways you might remodel your home to incorporate these principles. Topics include creating a more accessible entrance, reducing trip hazards, and using more levers (vs. knobs or cross-handles). As usual, Houzz has a ton of great photos that can inspire you in terms of the potential for great aging-in-place aesthetic and design.

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