All of the information in the article about lifelong housing was provided by lifelonghousing.org and RVCOG.
Ask yourself this. As you age and your daily routine starts to present difficulties in terms of mobility and comfort, would you prefer to stay in your home as long as possible before transitioning into an assisted living situation?
If you answered yes, then you are on the same page as nearly 90% of older Americans who desire to stay in their homes for as long as possible. According to AARP studies.
This sounds like a simple concept, but the reality is that many of the homes we live in today are not designed to accommodate this desire. In fact, the majority of homes out there present a long list of problems for people who wish to age in place safely and comfortably.
What Does The Lifelong Housing Certification Mean For Homeowners?
The Lifelong Housing Certification was developed to help us think differently about home design. The certification criteria include simple and cost-effective modifications that homeowners and builders can do to make a home comfortable, safe and livable. A home can be built or updated to support your needs and lifestyle at any age by using simple Universal Design principles.
As home builders, we take pride in ensuring that each home we build meets the highest standard for safety and lifelong housing. That is why we voluntarily have each of our homes inspected and graded according to the Lifelong Housing Certification checklist.
It all comes down to the little details in order to ensure that every home is a safe space for visiting toddlers, whose curiosity can take them to parts of a home rarely seen, to aging grandparents coming to visit their family. A lifelong housing certification means that the proper design elements have been met to ensure that optimal safety, security, and fall prevention measures have been met. This makes living in the home a comfortable and convenient experience for everyone.
Some features of Lifelong Housing Certified homes include:
- No step entrance from the sidewalk, rear patio, and garage
- Low threshold (less than ½ inch)
- All doors (interior and exterior) are 36” wide (allowing wheelchair access)
- Open, spacious floor plan
- Hallways 45-52” width
- Iris™ Smart Hub wireless control system (thermostat, front door, alarm, individual lights)
- 650 square foot accessible patio
- ADA compliant appliances in the kitchen
- Electrical outlets 22” from the floor; light switches 42-48” from floor
- Rocker-style light switches; occupancy sensor and timer light switches in some areas
- Accessible guest bathroom with a raised toilet and grab bars
- All doors, faucets and other mechanisms are lever or hands-free
- plants raised washer and dryer in the utility room
- Walk-in, roll-in, no door shower in master bath
- Accessible closets
- Loop-style or D-shaped cabinet hardware for drawers and doors
- Easy-open windows throughout
- Abundant light (ambient, accent, and task) throughout
- Low maintenance yard
- Raised bed garden
How The Lifelong Housing Certification Work?
All Lifelong Housing Certification is done by a licensed inspector. Based on the assessment, the home is certified at one of three levels and the home is added to the RVCOG Lifelong Certified Housing database. The database is available to Realtors and potential home-buyers and renters. The certification may be indicated on the Southern Oregon MLS, which will serve as an alert to potential buyers to obtain additional information regarding the level of certification.
Level 1: Visitable
The home includes basic accessibility and/or adaptability of architectural features on the ground floor and is visitable for guests with disabilities. It has a wheelchair-accessible entrance, plus entertainment area, hall, and a bathroom. Other examples of basic features include door handles and faucets that are lever-style and don’t require grasping.
Level 2: Fully Accessible
The ground floor of the home is fully accessible, including all Level 1 features plus an accessible bedroom and kitchen, parking area and entrance. Examples of additional features include raised toilets and appliances; grab bars in the bathroom, etc.
Level 3: Enhanced Accessibility
The home includes Levels 1 & 2 features and has been customized for specific accessibility needs (for example, a ceiling track for transfer or electronic care monitoring). Specific features will be noted on the certificate and available from the seller or listing agent.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Lifelong Housing Certification and what it means to you please check out this brochure and visit the RVCOG website. And, if you’re interested in creating your own Lifelong Housing this is a great place to start!
At KDA Homes, our mission is to be pioneers in smarter home design leading the way for sustainability in real estate development and green building. If you’re interested in being a part of a sustainable community in Ashland, Oregon please contact us today to learn more about KDA Homes currently on the market.