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Home Remodeling and 'Aging in Place' Quickly Outpacing Relocation for Retirement

Providing for children as they get older is every parent's primary objective, but what happens when it comes time to take care of aging parents? According to a report released in February by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, spending on home improvement by individuals 65 and older will account for over one-third of total remodeling revenue by 2025.
Not only does that mean there's more of a focus on accessible housing for senior citizens, it means more retirees are abandoning the practice of relocating, choosing instead to "age in place." And it may be a good thing for both retirees and local businesses alike.
Thanks to baby boomers who want to remain in their current residences, home remodeling professionals have reported an uptick in business. Zach Tyson, co-owner of Tyson Construction in Destrehan, Louisiana, estimates that almost 40% of his current revenue is coming from renovations in senior homes. Five years ago, he was lucky if remodeling projects like these made up close to 20% of his revenue.
"[Accessible housing] is trending up, for sure," Tyson told The Associated Press.
The vast majority of these projects are coming from retirees who are mobile now, but want to be prepared for injury or illness in the future. As a result, home remodeling professionals like Tyson are being inundated with requests for open floor plans, wider doorways, and safer bathrooms.
According to housing expert Gregg Logan, who works with a real estate firm in Orlando, almost 80% of boomers are retiring closer to home or in their current home to stay closer to children and grandchildren.
Are your parents getting close to retirement? If so, here are a few home renovations they may want to consider:
  • New Floors
    Emergency department visits have increased almost 22% in the last decade, and there's no shortage of senior injuries in that statistic. In fact, an estimated 800,000 injuries in people 65 and older were related to stairs, ramps, or floors. Suddenly, carpeting might not sound so bad.
  • Fall-Proof Bathrooms
    In 2015, almost 81% of home remodeling jobs focused on the bathroom. While many of those renovations may have been for aesthetics, bathroom remodeling is incredibly important for aging individuals. Additions like shower benches and support railings can be crucial to their safety.
  • Fire Safety Measures
    Fire safety is especially important for aging individuals who might be living with early symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. For example, a burner left on in the kitchen could be a tremendous fire hazard, especially if your loved one forgets to turn it off.
Fortunately, we're living in an age where technology enables the completion of a number of tasks. Considering the fact that there are more than 101 million iPhone users in the U.S. alone, it's safe to say that no matter how far away you are, communication will be a given with your aging loved ones.
If you're not too concerned about accessibility just yet, take these things into consideration for the future. After all, it's never too early to take your parents' health and safety into account.


  1. Ashley Chassereau ParksJuly 30, 2017 at 10:17 PM

    My parents are actually updating their house right now, but we are also working on our house so that they can come live with us whenever they are no longer able to live alone. We are trying to prepare now for whenever we need take over their care. I definitely want them to live with us, so that all of us can spoil them for as long as we "have" them. :)


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