What to Consider When Deciding to Stay in Your Home for Retirement

What to consider when deciding to age in place

“The coastal communities of South Carolina may be the perfect setting for your retirement–whether you see yourself kite-boarding or reading a book on the beach, our year-round, temperate climate has something for everyone.”

Rachel Burton

When designing homes for retirement, we consider clients’ interests, hobbies, and their aspirations for their golden years. Discovering how you plan to spend your time in retirement is essential to designing a home that will support a rich and full retirement. It is also important to have in place the safety features that will allow you to navigate your home should your mobility become limited. Planning ahead gives great peace of mind to clients. This allows them to focus on enjoying their retirement, rather than dreading that they may be forced to leave their home at some point. When designing a forever home, it’s important that the spaces adapt to your needs now and in the future. Here are a few of the things we discuss when planning a home for aging in place:

  • Mobility is key. Doorways should be wide enough for wheelchair access. An elevator shaft can be a closet now, but can easily be converted later.
  • Functional is beautiful. Designing with aging in place in mind doesn’t mean your home will look like a hospital or feel sterile. Many design features like flush-floor, curbless showers are a high end touch to bathroom design.
  • Guests. We want to consider guest spaces for visitors, but also spaces for more permanent caregivers.
  • Entertaining. Are you an avid entertainer? Do you prefer more formal settings or more casual?
  • Experience Nature. Bring the outside in and enjoy the beautiful setting with a home situated to make the best of the character of coastal South Carolina.
  • Technology. Smart home technology is now a common feature in luxury homes and it will help you age in place.
  • Plan ahead. You might not need grab bars or other assistive hardware now, but plan ahead during the house framing so the necessary structure is in place.
  • Capture the moment. Take advantage of photographing your home under construction so you don’t forget all the good work you did to prepare.

Understanding how people see their lives unfolding in retirement is the key to successfully designing a custom home, but so too are their motivations for wanting to stay in their homes. In a recent article on Health.com, read about the reasons older adults want to age in place: “Aging in Place: Why You or a Loved One May Want to Grow Older at Home.” It’s worth a read to affirm your thinking or to give you food for thought about things you may not have considered.