Monday, March 22, 2021

Off-Site Construction Industry Needs to Properly Address 'Aging In Place'

'Aging In Place' Housing is for ALL Ages!

an article by Valerie Jurik-Henry

Being a national speaker on Aging in Place (AIP), I have heard just about every story there is regarding our aging population, the home struggles, and the painful truth about the cost of living in our twilight years. So, with that said, here is my question: Why is Aging in Place seen as, and spoken with, words only for our aging population? Aging = people  Place = the home.

When the aging in place term was coined, it was pointed towards to aging population because the baby boomers were about to send the aging stats on all .gov sites to a new plateau. What is the catalyst for this longevity?  Healthy living, pharmaceuticals, and science. So, we now know people are living longer and want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, they look for a home design that benefits not only their lifestyle today but also for their future self. If you look at that last sentence again, would it be fair to say that ALL home buyers want to be given the choice to stay in their house for as long as possible, and have a home design that works for them not only today BUT for their future self and family? To me, aging in place is for ALL generations as we age from the moment we are born. We change, our situations change, life changes. 

With that said, let us look at housing design.

The building industry started to use the AIP term when marketing their homes to the older population. Using door levers instead of doorknobs, having grab bars in the bathroom (or noting that they block the walls for future use of grab bars) having a 5x5 turning radius on the floor in a bathroom for wheelchair use, bedroom/bathroom on the first floor etc. Having something different in your marketing sells, absolutely. And sell it did in the beginning for many builders and developers. Today, the pool is crowded with many businesses trying to get the attention of the aging home buyers and I am seeing all sorts of tactics being used.

So, what if there was a way to create and market your offsite home that gives you a niche in the market? A product that works for and serves every generation for their current needs and their future self. One idea that satisfies multiple levels of need. Numbers tell a story as there is not only one buyer.

National Association of Realtors 2020 housing report

Gen X  23% of all home purchases

Millennial 38% of all home purchases

Baby Boomers 33% of all home purchases

Silent Generation 6% of all home purchases 

Forbes wrote about the aging stats here

65+ market: According to AARP 87% want to age in place. 

50+ (longevity economy): is valued at $7.1 trillion and is 46% of the U.S. economy. This group will grow to $13.5 trillion by 2032.

By 2030 there will be approximately 71.5 million Americans over the age of 65. Nearly 20% of the entire U.S. population.

I have spent the last 5 years working on a conceptual idea that is now ready for launching. It has been well received by the consumer over the years, at trade shows, and by builders. I am choosing to connect with the modular industry prior to any other housing modality as I have connected with people such as Gary Fleischer, and I have come to appreciate your industry. 

My product is The Ageless Home® We can use current home plans or create new ones. Single family, Multi family, and Multi-generational.

Building The Ageless Home® is 50% of the task. The marketing we created is the other 50%.  Understanding what people ask for in housing and what their reality truly is – was the game changer. Once we connected with the actual need, The Ageless Home® was created. Click here for the PDF and a better understanding of the home.

If your company is interested in learning more about The Ageless Home® and how I can help you add the AIP market to your business, please reach out to me.

Valerie Jurik-Henry uses her speaking platform to inform industry professional and the consumer about The Ageless Home®

One home design thought for ALL generations of home buyers. 

As an adjunct professor, Valerie has educated at Wake Tech College in North Carolina on Ageless Living by Design. She has also spoken at The International Builders Show as well as at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)  about creating home design for all ages. Additionally, she has an Ageless educational class with AIA (American Institute of Architects) and, as of 2021, has a class “Ageless Living by Design” with NC Licensing Board for General Contractors to provide CE (continuing education) credits to industry professionals. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Not a bad design, however, the emergency egress path leaves a lot to be desired! Why is the path/terrace/balcony so narrow that you cannot go out and around the door that opens towards the left and effectively blocks access to the emergency egress pathway?
If that door were made/designed to open 180 degrees in order for the wheelchair using resident to easily turn left and escape the fire (or whatever), it ought to be shown that way - at least in dotted lines.
Additionally, wherever there are pocket doors, there ought to be clearance on the knob/closed side of the door for a wheelchair-user's feet so they can sidle up to the door and open it when it is in a fully closed position. In most if these situations, the user can only approach from head-on and then would not be able to reach the knob/latch.