The overwhelming majority of midlife and older Americans want to remain in their homes as long as possible, according to an AARP survey called "Fixing to Stay," which was released in May.
But nearly 25% of those surveyed predict that either they or someone they live with will have trouble getting around in the home during the next five years.
Baby boomers are starting to think ahead, for themselves and for their aging parents, and are beginning to question how well their homes will meet their needs as they grow older.
The survey reports that approximately three in 10 Americans age 45 and older say they are very or somewhat concerned about:
- Having a home in which friends or family who might have disabilities can get around.
- Being able to afford home modifications that will enable them to remain at home.
- Having problems using features in their homes as they get older.
- Finding reliable contractors or handymen should they need to modify their homes.
Eighty-six percent of the 2000 respondents, all 45 or older, have made at least one simple change to their homes to make it easier for them to live there. And 76% made major modifications.
Those who have not made any modifications, when asked why, cite reasons such as not being able to do it themselves and not being able to afford it.
Others replied they did not trust home contractors, didn’t know how to make the changes, did not have anyone to make the changes for them and did not know how to find a good home contractor or company that modifies homes.
What does this mean? Remodelers should pay attention to this large percentage of the population. They express interest in home modification but might not know that professional remodelers could help them meet their needs.
--The NAHB Remodelors Council