The 65+ age group is growing at a faster rate than the total U.S. population. About 87 percent of adults over the age of 65 wish to stay in their current home and community as they age, says the AARP.
Rather than invest in a retirement community home or nursing home, these older adults prefer to grow old in the homes they’ve known for decades. This is an understandable choice; however, modifications must be made to accommodate for transitional living requirements. These will address both safety and functional concerns.
Let’s take a look at the best windows and doors for aging in place.
If you or a loved one has decided to age in place, modifications to the windows should be done for safety, ventilation and daily operation. You will need:
- Plenty of windows for natural light
- Lowered windows or taller windows featuring lower sill height
- Low-maintenance exterior and interior finishes
- Easy-to-operate hardware
- Windows that can be opened for cross ventilation and fresh air
- Installation of energy-efficient windows with Low-E glass
- Casement and sliding windows are excellent choices, but further modifications to the windows may be required. Casement windows open by turning a crank, which allows for easy operation by those with postural or mobility issues. Sliding windows open by pushing the sashes to the side, easier to operate for those with difficulties in fine motor skills.
Both interior and entry doors must also be modified to meet the needs of a homeowner who is in a wheelchair, or who uses a walker or cane.
For interior doors, you should have 32 inches of clear width, requiring a 36-inch door. You’ll also need levered door hardware for convenient opening and closing. Wider doorways are also a good idea.
For front entry doors, you’ll need:
- Accessible path of travel to the home
- One or more no-step entries with cover
- Sensor light at exterior no-step entry, with a focus on the front-door lock
- 32 inches of clear width, requiring a 36-inch door
- Non-slip flooring in foyer area
- Entry door sidelight or higher/lower peep hole viewer; sidelight should be shaded or frosted for privacy and safety
- Doorbell in accessible location
- Surface on which to place packages when opening door
Contact Rescom Exteriors
For more recommendations on the best windows and doors for yourself or an aging parent, please contact us today.