Home is where the heart is, and aging in place is strongly linked to greater health and happiness. Scientific studies prove that happy hearts promote long-term well-being. Literally. Once elders are uprooted from their own homes a cascade of serious problems can occur, including social isolation. So it is not surprising that the majority of individuals want to stay in a home filled with a lifetime of memories, surrounded by familiar objects, routine and community. The issue of being able to age in place is critical. Senior citizens are the fastest-growing population, and by 2050, the total number of U.S. residents over 65 is set to double. And Minnesota is a special case. According to St. Paul’s Wilder Research, Minnesota’s 65-and-older adult population will more than double between 2010 and 2030 as the state’s 1.3 million baby boomers head into retirement. During the present decade alone, our hearty senior population is on track to increase by 41%, more than the national average. Why? Residents here in the True North tend not to retire to other regions.
The design community, members of which often join forces with policy makers to offer ideas and services that improve and extend the lives of seniors who choose to live out their years in their own homes. This article discusses how to find a competent design professional to assist in making your home aging-friendly.