Photo by: Kevin Beswick
Life expectancy in the United States is nearing 80, and the number of Americans 65 and older now exceeds 40 million. These facts alone would suggest a need for rethinking home design. Add to that the large number of disabled people who don’t need to be institutionalized thanks to medical advances, and there’s a huge market for designing, building, and remodeling homes that can accommodate people of various sizes and ability levels.
Architects, builders, and homeowners looking to maximize accessibility in houses can turn for ideas to three approaches: accessible design, universal design, and aging-in-place design. There’s a lot of overlap among them, and while some people speak about them interchangeably, each has its own philosophical foundation that has led to a unique approach to designing, building, and remodeling.