Your home is an expression of your personal style. And many work throughout their lives to perfect the design of their dream house. But as people get older, their needs change. That’s why Mosby Building Arts, a resource for home remodeling in St. Louis for more than 65 years, is helping families to plan and design a space where they can age in place.
Jill Worobec, a designer and planner with Mosby, notes there is a trend toward more people desiring to age in place—remaining in the home where they have built memories through the years. Mosby can provide a remodel to make that happen, she says. “We walk through the client’s house with them, go over their wishes and develop a plan for their future needs into a cohesive design. We can do the whole house or one room.”
To make a home safe and comfortable as its residents get older, Worobec says widening doorways, removing as many steps as possible, adding plenty of LED lighting, and installing hardwood flooring or low-pile carpet are musts. “You don’t want something that has a drag. Remove area rugs—they are tripping hazards—and change the color and texture of flooring from room-to-room, so there is contrast between differences in elevation.”
Most renovations will be focused on the kitchen and bathroom, where everyday needs should be made as accessible as possible and maintenance should be minimized, Worobec notes. In the kitchen, she recommends moving appliances such as microwaves and ovens to countertop height for easy access, as well as adding multi-level shelving, lever hardware and touch controls. “Touch faucets are great for those who can’t grasp—all you do is touch them on and off. And induction cooktops are good because you can still touch it and not get burned, and the cleanup is easy and efficient.”
In the bathroom, Worobec incorporates design elements for ease of use. “Not being able to take care of personal hygiene is the single biggest reason people move into nursing facilities,” she explains. She advises a low- or no-threshold shower with grab bars, a shower seat, and a handheld showerhead. “It’s fantastic for those clients who need to have everything right there.” Worobec says the sink also should be accessible. “Remove the cabinet doors so you can roll under the sink area.”
Like any home renovation project, communication is key when remodeling your home to age in place, Worobec notes. “We have a lot of back-and-forth communication with clients throughout the process.” This helps to ensure their needs will be met—without sacrificing their personal style and design vision.
ON THE COVER: Mosby Building Arts can help families design a space where they can age in place—in style. For more information, call 909-1800 or visit callmosby.com.