Remodeling Tips for the Multi-Generational Home

Remodeling Tips for the Multi-Generational Home

People born during the Great Depression and through WWII have reached the age where they may need assistance with daily living. Baby Boomers aren't far behind. If you're an adult child planning to take care of mom and dad, you may need to make your home more senior-friendly. What are the important elements in your home that should be remodeled to make caring for your elders easier? We're glad you asked. 

The Bathroom

The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to negotiate small bathrooms with tubs. But, if your older relative needs to use a wheelchair, this room can become impossible to access. To remodel the bathroom to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs, you'll probably have to sacrifice some areas in an adjacent room to give it more space. Once you do, you can include the following features:

Walk-in shower. By tiling the entire shower area, you can create a no-threshold shower enclosure with a bench. With enough space, you could even forgo the shower door to eliminate yet one more obstacle to personal hygiene. Install a hand-held shower head so your parent can sit and bathe in comfort.

Wide doors. You'll want to increase the door size, too. If the wall can lose a stud or two, you should seriously consider a pocket door for the bathroom. These slide into the wall and take up no space in the hallway or the room itself. 

Recessed cabinets. Instead of hanging the cabinets on the wall, you can use your extra space to recess them and eliminate opportunities to collide with corners. You can also create a lighted vanity counter instead of a cabinet or linen closet.

Lever door handles. For the door, if it isn't going to be sliding into the wall, be sure to install lever handles rather than doorknobs. Arthritic fingers have a tough time with knobs, but any hand can usually push down on the lever. Bear in mind, though, that your smart pets and toddlers will find levers equally as friendly.

Arthritic fingers have a tough time with knobs, but any hand can usually push down on the lever. Consider swapping your old knobs for lever handles for your bathroom door if aging relatives will be living with you.

Kitchen

With an increase in your household population, whether it's with your parents or returning adult children, your kitchen is going to get a little cramped. A kitchen remodel to open it up can mean the world to your sanity. Here are a few ideas on kitchen remodels to think about.

Second kitchen sink. Taking out a wall between the kitchen and dining area, then adding a large island with its own sink and seating means more people can help prepare meals, or at least stay out of the way while you do the honors. An extra bar fridge and dishwasher in the island could mean mealtime and clean-up go so smoothly that everyone will want to pitch in.

Under-counter microwave. If your empty nest becomes full again with aging parents, children and grandchildren, a microwave positioned under the counter will help the young and the very old help themselves. When placed on shelves above the sink, children have difficulty reaching them and those older ones with fading strength and aching limbs may experience hardship handling heavy bowls above counter height.

Need some help planning a remodel to fit more generations into your home? Give us a call today. We can work with you to design your rooms to fit your needs and your budget!