Aging-In-Place Features To Keep In Mind For Your In-Law Suite
The National Association of Home Builders offers an extensive aging-in-place checklist. We used that guide to present the most critical features of an in-law suite typically built for a parent.
In-Law Suite Safety and Convenience Options
Also known as the “mother-in-law suite,” it’s a separate living space on your property. Since the housing market crash in 2008, more people have built a section in unused space on or outside their homes.
During the 2020 pandemic, this trend renewed. Everyone has different needs. However, your aging parent most likely will require these seven safety and convenience options.
1. Ground-level Entryway (No Steps)
The pathway leading to your home or in-law suite is just as important as the inside. We recommend avoiding steps and also making sure the path is wide enough to accommodate for loved ones that may have varying mobility requirements.
2. 36″ Doorways & No Threshold Flooring
In addition to a ground-level entryway, 36″ doorways will provide room for aging loved ones. Level flooring made of a slip-resistant surface is very helpful to avoid falls. Thresholds, steps and transitions should be avoided if possible. Remember, you’re not just planning for now, you’re also planning for future needs as well.
Seniors often struggle with vision problems. Therefore, you’ll want to add as much lighting as possible without making it too bright. Make the switch dimmable, too. That will allow your parent or in-law to set it at the level meant for them.
4. Levered Door Handles
Your loved one can grip a levered door handle easier than a standard one. The person also can hold onto it without their hand slipping. It also provides convenient access if holding a purse or other object in the opposite hand.
5. Windows For Natural Lighting
You can add soft lighting to create the perfect ambiance inside the in-law suite. However, nothing beats natural lighting, which also provides Vitamin D. You can keep the light in, but the UV rays out with the right window glass and still allow sunlight.
6. Bathroom Safety
Grab bars, also known as grip handles, can save your parent from falling. Add these grip handles to the shower or tub and near the toilet and sink.
Non-slip pads also will help an aging person stand on wet surfaces inside the tub/shower stall or on the floor. You can add a seat inside the tub or shower too, which can further prevent falls.
Furthermore, keep all health and beauty supplies to about eye level. Do the same with towel racks, toilet paper holders, and light switches or power outlets. Make sure plug-ins are installed as far away from the water sources as possible. It may be necessary to make room for wheelchairs if you feel they may be needed in the future.
7. Suggestions for Bedroom Safety as Well
Keeping all light switches and plug-ins low also provides convenience and safety in bedrooms. You also could install automated on/off switches or have them voice-activated with Alexa. Install a night light as well, so your loved one can use the bathroom at night when needed.
This only covers a fraction of ways to accommodate for aging in place. Contact us online or call Quality Craftsmen serving the East Cobb area at 404-483-7446 today before starting your in-law suite construction.