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New School

by Louis on April 1, 2011

They are rebuilding the schools in my area, Montgomery County, Md. They tear them down and start over fresh. These are suburban schools, not real old buildings. The catchment areas are not larger, yet they take these radical steps. The buildings are more energy efficient but that is not the impetus. They redo them because the uses have changed so much the old building just will not do. The curriculum is different.  The courses they teach and the technologies used in the world and in teaching are radically different from the time when these schools were built. The world these schools are preparing the students for is different too.

What does this have to do with Aging in Place? The same factors are in play. Most of our homes were not designed for our current use. Why? Because they were designed for Peter Pan. You know, someone who was never going to get older. Since none of us are Peter Pan, we need a house designed for older users.

Now the school system is taking the radical approach of tearing these schools down and starting over. That may be needed in some homes. Some are poor candidates for this sort of remodeling. Others are poorly situated on difficult lots. Or the neighborhood will not support the investment.

But in most cases, a good design process and renovation, done before health crises make thoughtfulness too difficult, will be a great investment. Say you plan to live there twenty more years, spending a large round number like $80,000 is only $4,000 per year! Less than a month in assisted living!

If the enhancements improve your daily life…more comfortable places to relax, a bathroom that feels like a spa, a kitchen that makes cooking a pleasure that is totally worth it. Value- Priceless!

If better design helps avoid one injurious fall it is totally worth it. Value- Priceless!

If improved maneuvering make recovery and receiving care at home easier so you don’t have to idle your time in a rehab place after an illness it is totally worth it. Value- Priceless!

Because your home is prepared for the largest and fastest growing segment of the population it sells easily if you change your mind it is totally worth it. Value- measurable!

What is the hold up? Near 90% of us say we want to Age in Place. One  key barrier is a home that isn’t prepared. My home is ready. When will yours be ready, too?

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