As homeowners age, many are looking for ways to stay in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on their property can be an excellent way to achieve this goal. Here are some ways to make your ADU unit more accessible and comfortable for aging in place:
Universal Design Features
Incorporating universal design features into your ADU can make it more accessible and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. Universal design features can include things like wider doorways and hallways, lower countertops, slip-resistant flooring, and lever-style door handles. By incorporating universal design features, you can create a space that is comfortable and accessible for everyone.
Ground-Floor Living Space
For aging in place, it’s important to have all necessary living spaces on the ground floor. This includes the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living areas. By having all living spaces on the ground floor, you can avoid the need for stairs or an elevator, which can be difficult to navigate as you age.
Easy-To-Use Fixtures and Appliances
Incorporating easy-to-use fixtures and appliances into your ADU can make it more comfortable and functional for aging in place. This can include things like walk-in showers with grab bars, comfort-height toilets, and easy-to-use kitchen appliances with large, easy-to-read controls. By incorporating these features, you can create a space that is comfortable and easy to use for people of all ages and abilities.
Good lighting is essential for aging in place, as it can help prevent falls and make it easier to see and navigate the space. In your ADU, be sure to incorporate ample lighting, including task lighting in the kitchen and reading areas, and motion-activated lighting in hallways and bathrooms.
Smart Home Technology
Smart home technology can make aging in place easier and more comfortable by automating tasks and providing remote access to home controls. This can include things like voice-controlled lighting and temperature systems, smart locks, and security systems. By incorporating smart home technology into your ADU, you can create a space that is both functional and convenient.
Having access to outdoor space can be an important part of aging in place, as it provides opportunities for fresh air and exercise. In your ADU design, consider incorporating outdoor space such as a patio or balcony. Additionally, consider incorporating landscaping features such as raised garden beds that are easy to access and maintain.
Building an ADU on your property can be an excellent way to age in place and stay in your home and community for as long as possible. By incorporating universal design features, having all living spaces on the ground floor, incorporating easy-to-use fixtures and appliances, providing ample lighting, incorporating smart home technology, and providing access to outdoor space, you can create an ADU that is both comfortable and functional for aging in place. If you’re considering building an ADU for aging in place, be sure to work with an experienced architect or contractor who can help you design a space that meets your needs and budget.