Homeowners: Don’t Call It ‘Aging in Place’

November 8, 2017

More homeowners are taking on projects that will allow them to age comfortably in their current home, according to the “2017 Aging in Place Report” from HomeAdvisor. But they don’t like the term “aging in place.”

Researchers, who surveyed those 55 years old and up for the report, found that many of these homeowners are completing projects that put more emphasis on ease-of-living improvements than aesthetics. But researchers also found that many homeowners won’t call these improvements “aging in place,” even though the term may accurately describe the projects.

“People don’t think of themselves as aging—even when they are. There’s no specific age or moment in time in which people become officially ‘old.’ Additionally, the stigma surrounding aging keeps most people in denial long past the point at which the process is clear,” according to the report.

But how do homeowners prepare for aging in place when they refuse to admit it? Researchers say they first perform regular maintenance and complete projects to keep their homes operating smoothly. Then, they’ll often start to layer aging-related projects as they become needed.

Researchers identified these improvements, among others, as a few of the most popular projects for homeowners aged 55 to 75:

  • Adding pullout shelves in kitchen cabinets
  • Changing doorknobs to lever handles
  • Installing a smart fire detection system
  • Installing a smart security system
  • Installing a smart thermostat
  • Installing a voice-activated device
  • Installing comfort-height toilets
  • Installing grab bars in bathrooms

Source: “2017 Aging in Place Report,” HomeAdvisor (November 2017)