A senior-oriented home health care supplies retailer is aiming to improve homes’ accessibility to improve the ability for people to visit others or remain living in their residences.
The CareGiver Partnership, an incontinence products and home healthcare supplies retailer, is advocating for “visitability,” a movement to include specific accessibility features into home construction, as boomers head into old age. The company is in the process of building a home with “visitability features” that will be completed this fall.
“It means someone with limited mobility can accept invitations to visit friends and family because he knows the home is accessible,” says Lynn Wilson, founder of The CareGiver Partnership, of visitability. “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.”
“Visitable” homes generally have three key features: at least one zero-step entrance into the home from a driveway or sidewalk; interior doors that are at least 32 inches wide; and at least one wheelchair-accessible bathroom on the main floor.
Other features geared toward individuals with limited mobility could include wall switches and outlets at reachable heights; reinforced bathroom walls to allow for installation of grab bars; and a moan-floor bedroom or space that could be converted into a bedroom.
The CareGiver Partnership’s founders are now in the process of constructing a home designed around aging in place and visitability concepts, with additional features such as high-visibility lighting with long-life, energy efficient LED bulbs and a dumbwaiter that could be replaced with an elevator if needed.
Construction on the ranch-style home, located in Neenah, Wisc., began in May and is expected to be completed by November 1.
“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,” Wilson says.
Written by Alyssa Gerace