Survey Highlights Keys to Facilitating Aging in Place

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With the results of their National Older Adult Housing Survey 2002, the NAHB Research Center and Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies pinpoint the community features, products and design techniques that facilitate aging in place.

March 01, 2003

 

With the results of their National Older Adult Housing Survey 2002, the NAHB Research Center and Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies pinpoint the community features, products and design techniques that facilitate aging in place.

In terms of features necessary to aging at home, survey respondents cited first-floor bedrooms, central HVAC, low-maintenance exterior finishes and minimal/low-step entrances as being among the most important.

Respondents in age-restricted communities cited ease of living, quiet neighborhoods and maintenance costs that were rolled into community fees as the main motivators for living there.

In drawing conclusions from the survey, the Research Center and the JCHS suggest emphasizing community and security features when selling homes to older adults and note the importance of highlighting proximity to restaurants, shopping centers and public transportation. In addition, builders should ensure that they offer features that are energy-efficient and designed for those with reduced and/or limited mobility.

The survey polled more than 2,300 people age 45 or older in four living situations: residents of assisted living facilities or adults with parents in an assisted living facility; parents who live in the homes of their adult children; homeowners who live in age-restricted communities; and homeowners who live in mixed-age communities, the last representing 82% of all respondents.

The entire report is available, for purchase, through the Research Center's Web site, www.nahbrc.org.

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