My son recently purchased a condo in a building with 49 units located in the Twin Cities. While helping him find a new home I was immediately struck with this condo because of what it offered. As a baby boomer, where I am old enough to join AARP and get a senior coffee at McDonald’s but not old enough for social security, I noticed the many features that this condo offered that previously I would of overlooked. Now granted my son was the buyer, but it made me become aware of what I need to re-think about my own surroundings.
The exterior building entrance, with a slight grade, is free of obstructions with no steps. The hallways are wider than usual, carpeted with a flat berber and well lit. When I walked into the condo I realized that the front door and all interior doors are extra wide with lever handles, making them easy to open and close. The interior hallway is also wider than most. Two spacious bathrooms have vanity tops set a little lower with tubs & showers easy to step into and out of and slip free tiled floors. The windowsills are lower with the windows covered in Bali wood blinds making them easy to reach, open and close.The efficiency follows through into the kitchen layout. Designed with room for maneuvering between work surfaces and appliances with an open space in the center.The building's roomy elevator services three stories and an underground garage.
I thought to myself how all of these ideas were utilized when they constructed this building a little over ten years ago. How they incorporated Universal Design and what an important role it will play if you need to live independently and live in your home with incapacities. The place feels roomy, comfortable and easy to be in. It made me think about the changes I would like to start making to my surroundings. My first attempt was switching out the door knob, to my back entry door,installing a lever style latch. It is now so much easier to open when your hands are full of groceries!
Since I have joined the staff at Lake Country Builder ’s, through our division of STAY AT HOME, it also has made me aware of how changes to my home will evolve as I grow older and want to live independently. I do believe a person can effectively overcome obstacles by re-thinking their surroundings and adapting to fit them to fit your needs. The first “baby-boomers” turned 65 in 2011. This generation will re-define aging. All of us need to feel optimistic about looking forward to watching new meanings and ways to age healthy and long.