Family dynamics are different today than in the past. Before children would grow up, leave the family home, and strike out on their own. Families would reunite during the holidays, catch up with all of the changes, and say their goodbyes as everyone headed back to their homes. Grandparents and parents would age, and depending upon the need could enter into a retirement home or 55+ housing development. Today is a stark difference to this.
Today families have children staying at home and the potential for grandparents or aging parents to move in with their sons or daughters. This means that there is a potential for multigenerational family members all under one roof. When thinking about making changes to your home, the family dynamics of the home will come into play. One concept for remodeling is to have a universal design for the house. This blog post will discuss the idea of a universal design concept and how it will shape your remodel.
Universal Design Concept
The universal design concept is the idea that your home will be set up so that it is accessible for multigenerational use and will require minimal updates/changes as the household occupants’ age. This allows for accommodation for the largest majority of the household taking into account ages, abilities, and size. Here are some ways these can be seen in your home.
A helpful design for your home would be to install grab bars in your bathroom and wetter areas. This would allow people the ability to hold onto something to steady themselves to prevent falls. This would work with older and younger generations. These can be added to bathtubs, shower stalls, outdoor showers and pool areas, as examples.
Another helpful design is adding a removable bench, fold-up bench, or permanent bench to the tub/shower area. This allows people the ability to sit down to wash easier. This could mean that as the older generation gets tired, they can sit down and relax while finishing their bathing routine. Younger children or disabled individuals would be able to wash areas easier, such as the bottom of their feet, without having to worry about falling.
Maximizing Floor Space
The idea here is to create large open areas where movement is easier. There wouldn’t be a great deal of furniture or fixtures to navigate around. This allows for everyone to move from room to room with less of a chance of bumping into anything or each other. This minimizes trip and fall hazards. Another way to minimize trip and fall hazards is to have a full bathroom on the first floor.
There are many ideas to incorporate into your universal design remodel. Here were some ideas to get you started.