Why We’re Excited that ‘Visitability’ Is Becoming the New Home Construction Standard

Visitability makes it easier to manage with limited mobility.

by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

Read on to learn how “visitability” — specific accessibility features that make it easier for those who develop mobility impairment to visit or remain living in their own homes — is becoming the new standard and why it’s good news for us all.

As the baby boomer generation continues to influence our culture and economy, today’s builders, architects and designers are putting more focus on helping aging seniors remain in their homes by providing greater accessibility. One area of focus is on “visitability.”

“Visitability” is a movement to incorporate specific accessibility features into home construction. It means someone with limited mobility can accept invitations to visit friends and family because he knows the home is accessible. It also means a home can accommodate someone who loses mobility later in life, instead of forcing her to make expensive renovations or move to a nursing home.

Key Features
A home with visitability has three key features: at least one zero-step entrance to the home from a driveway or sidewalk; interior doors with at least 32 inches of clear passage space; and at least one wheelchair-accessible bathroom on the main floor. If designed to accommodate a resident with limited mobility, essential features include wall switches and outlets at reachable heights, reinforced bathroom walls to allow for installation of grab bars, and a main-floor bedroom or space that can be converted to a bedroom.

As you may have read in an earlier post, we are in the process of constructing a home designed around aging-in-place and visitability concepts. It’s designed with four zero-step entrances, 36-inch-wide doorways, a wheelchair-accessible full bath on main floor, and first-floor master suite with wide, zero-step shower and supports for installing grab bars. Additional features built around safety and mobility include ample high-visibility lighting with long-life, energy-efficient LED bulbs and a dumbwaiter that can be later replaced with an elevator if needed. Construction of our ranch-style home in Neenah, Wis., began in May and is expected to be completed by Nov. 1.

The aging-in-place demonstration center incorporates all key visitability features. Learn more about its progress.

How You Can Benefit
Our goal in publishing progress of this home is to help our customers and all seniors prevent debilitating falls and employ best practices for aging in place safely, comfortably and affordably. While we’re in the process of putting together our best practices guide, be sure to download our free home safety guide, “It All Starts with a Fall.”

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their
Let us help with your aging in place and other needs.
loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wis. Visit http://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353. Help support this ad-free blog by answering several questions about caregiving here. It will take just two minutes.

Watch this video to learn more about making a home safer for seniors.


Post a Comment