Do you live in a Peter Pan house? For the past two centuries, we Americans have been building houses for people who will never grow old. Narrow hallways, narrow doorways, and stairs – lots of stairs!
On the website aginginplace.com, Dr. Laura Carstensen, of the Stanford Center for Longevity lays out fifteen elements of the Peter Pan house. Some of these include:
- Multi-level house
- Washer/dryer in the basement
- Sloping yards
- 24 inch doorways
- Bathroom upstairs
- High outdoor maintenance
She points out that these homes were designed by and for younger families and fail to consider the needs of the aging populations.
This month our partner Susan, who authors these blogs, completed her certification to become a NASMM@Home specialist. This education provided by our national association qualifies her to provide in-home consultations for those who want to stay at home in their senior years.
For the past several years while attending national conference, Susan sought out the courses that addressed issues faced by seniors trying to age in place. So, this year with the extra time provided by the pandemic, she completed the education and is ready to go.
So, what if you do want to grow old in your home? An AARP survey in 2018 found that, “while 76% of Americans age 50 and older say they prefer to remain in their current residence… [only 46%] anticipate they will be able to.” The reasons for this are because of the inherent hazards within their home.