Accessibility standards

After retirement, most Americans prefer to age in place. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the National Conference of State Legislatures have both reported that 90% of people over 65 want to continue living in their own homes for as long as possible.

Currently, there are approximately 53 million people living with some type of disability. A recent study showed that limited mobility was most commonly associated with these disabilities. Roughly 20% of the United States’ population will consist of senior citizens by 2030. Many of these individuals may also experience issues which will require them to use a mobility device.

Assistive devices, such as door openers, stair lifts, bathroom accessibility products, and wheelchair vehicle lifts, are used by roughly 6.8 million people in the United States. These, and other devices, can provide increased mobility and independence for people with disabilities and senior citizens.

Emergency room visits are common with older adults. It’s been shown that every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room because they have fallen. Half of these falls occur when an older adult is at home, others occur outside the home. On an annual basis, over 2 million older adults need to visit the emergency room due to injuries sustained by falling.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that almost 235,000 sustain an injury in the bathroom every year. Furthermore, HomeAdvisor’s “2016 Aging in Place Report” found that 48% of the homeowners over 55 are considering modifying their bathrooms so that they are able to age in place. The report also indicates that 71% of home service professionals are installing grab bars, and 54% are constructing wheelchair ramps for entryways.

Given the accessibility standards put forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), older adults and persons with disabilities may require a variety of accessibility products in order to age in place. When these
accessibility standards are met, they are more likely to be able to live independently for a longer period of time.

When adults are planning to age in place for as long as they can, it’s important to have the necessary home renovations made. As indicated above, these might include adding fall-prevention devices such as grab bars and meeting ADA door requirements.

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