Design Your Home to Age Gracefully

Thinking about building or buying a new home?

It may be the last one you’ll own, and if you’re like the vast majority of folks, you’ll want to stay in your home and community for as long as you’d like! For that reason, many of today’s homes are designed or renovated to accommodate “aging-in-place”, and make use of concepts like Universal Design and Design for All, which promote homes that are usable by all individuals, regardless of age, disability, or life stage.

mcguinn-faf-summer-2017

Designed for All

A home designed for today’s adults is comfortable, attractive, accessible and flexible, and provides peace of mind through simplicity. Whether you are empty nesters, still have children at home, are expecting grandchildren, or are planning to care for aging parents, modern homes make use of elements that can adapt to every situation, and every age. Rather than creating a home for different stages in your life, today’s builders attempt to cover all stages in the same multi-generational design, for longer relevance, and less need for remodeling or moving. Another added benefit is sustainability. Homes designed for all are built to last. Many incorporate energy efficient features for less maintenance and need for replacement later on. This ensures that your house will be usable by more family members and guests, and for longer.

Smart Homes for Easy Living

Universal design concepts are currently being applied to housing, buildings, outdoor urban environments, workplaces, communities and even products. Floor plans for new houses emphasize easily navigable open floor plans and flat surfaces, height considerations, strong color contrasts, and easy modification, should occupants’ circumstances change. Interior plans utilize wireless technology and “smart” systems to maximize comfort and sync control of the home’s lighting, temperature, communication and more. Philips Hue Wireless lighting systems combine energy-efficient LED lights with intuitive technology to allow you to easily control all of them from your device and create the right ambience in every moment and every room. Smart security products include BeON’s Smart Security Lighting, which records your home light use patterns and replays them while you’re away, includes backup lighting during blackouts, detects smoke alarm alerts and turns on lights for safe passage, and even keeps aging loved ones safe with Fall Prevention Lighting. The August Smart Lock turns your smartphone into your key, keeps track of who comes and goes, auto-locks behind you and unlocks as you approach. A smart doorbell like the SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell sends a live feed to your phone so you can see, hear, and speak to your visitor with an app, and the motion sensor alerts you even if the visitor doesn’t press a button.

Smart home control on tablet. Interior of living room in the background.
Many smart home systems can be controlled by apps on smartphones and tablets.
Nest Cam IQ
The Nest Cam IQ by Nest.

Smart security cameras help you look after your home when you’re not there, with 24/7 live streaming and an app, like the Nest Cam Indoor Smart Cam. The Nest Cam Outdoor Smart Cam looks for movement and listens for loud sounds, then alerts you with a photo of the activity. It uses Nest Aware, an advanced cloud algorithm that includes “familiar face alerts”, so you’ll get a notification if your camera sees someone you know, or don’t, and can continuously record and save up to 30 days of footage for you. The Nest Learning Thermostat learns what temperature you like in your home and keeps it that way, lights up when you walk in the room, and will send you an alert on your phone if there’s something wrong, like a sharp dip in temperature. The Nest Protect smart smoke/carbon monoxide detector thinks, speaks, and alerts your phone. It uses “Sound Check” to quietly test its alarm once a month, and you can turn off alarms with one touch on your phone. Plus, Nest products work in sync with one another, so if there’s a carbon monoxide leak, your Nest Protect can tell your Nest Thermostat to turn off the heat. The D-Link Wi-Fi Water Sensor is a smart flood sensor for your home. Its Water Detection sensor cable is easily placed around washing machines, sump pump, water heater, sink, bathtub, dishwasher, or refrigerator, and your smartphone receives notifications when water is detected. Finally, there are smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit that can control several of your smart products, and act as a home automation hub.

House Shaped Chalkboard sign on rustic wood WELCOME HOME

With constant innovations and changing trends, living spaces are becoming usable by all, which in turn produces homes, apartments, communities and other spaces that can be shared by all.

 


SOURCES:

http://www.visualizerset.com/universal-home-sweet-home/ | http://www.udinstitute.org/generalud.php | http://universaldesign.today/ | http://universaldesign.today/blog-posts/an-introduction-to-universal-design | http://icon.asid.org/index.php/2014/01/29/design-for-life-sustainable-and-universal-design-make-a-perfect-couple-for-aging-in-place/ | http://designforall.org/design.php | https://www.cnet.com/topics/smart-home/best-smart-home-devices/

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