Home Renovations Allow Older Americans to Age in Place

Home Renovations Allow Older Americans to Age in Place

The US features a large—and growing—population of older Americans who want to remain in their homes as they age.  While a significant number of these senior citizens remain active and fit well into their “golden years,” they will still take measures to make their homes more suitable for daily living. These homeowners will play a key role in supporting increases in spending on kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects as they:

  • add bathrooms to enhance convenience
  • remodel bathrooms and kitchens to improve their functionality

Bathroom Additions to Play a Major Role in Boosting Overall Spending

Adding a bathroom is among the more common home improvement projects for older Americans.  Homeowners unwilling or unable to navigate stairs will often add one or more bathrooms—such as one on every floor of a house—to make their homes more senior-friendly.  As more and more homeowners add bathrooms, bathroom remodeling spending will receive a significant boost due to:

  • the large number of fixtures (e.g., toilets, sinks, and bathtubs and showers) and related fittings installed in these bathrooms
  • the need to install water supply and waste pipes and related components in each bathroom
  • the use of other products—cabinets, flooring, and lighting—needed to complete a bathroom

How to Make a Bathroom Senior-Friendly

In addition to installing new bathrooms, older Americans are also increasingly choosing to renovate their existing bathrooms.  It is often less expensive and time-consuming to remodel a bathroom than to add a new one.  Furthermore, in many cases, an older bathroom can easily be made more suitable for use by a senior citizen, such as by:

  • replacing a traditional toilet with an elevated one—making it easier for those with knee problems to use
  • installing a walk-in bathtub or adding a chair or bench to a shower stall for those with mobility issues
  • installing slip-resistant flooring—such as porcelain tile—to minimize the risk of falls
  • adding hand-held showerheads that can be used by those who cannot stand for a long period of time
  • replacing lavatory faucets and toilet handles with easy-to-operate touchless models—ideal for those with arthritic hands

Aging-in-Place Remodeling Extends to Kitchens

Remodeling kitchens can also play an important role in creating a senior-friendly home, given the amount of time spent in a kitchen preparing and serving meals and hosting gatherings of family and friends.

Ways a kitchen can be remodeled to be more senior friendly include:

For more information about the US home kitchen and bathroom remodeling market, check out The Freedonia Group's new study Home Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling in the US.

About The Author:

Matt Zielenski is a Senior Analyst at The Freedonia Group, where he covers trends in the use of building materials and related construction products in the US market.