Why a Single-Story Home is Ideal for Seniors

Like it or not, living needs change as we age and eventually our housing situations may become unsuitable. If moving from a multi-story home isn’t an option, it’s possible, of course, to remodel, modify or otherwise make adjustments to a living area. But for those who are able to move, a one-story house makes an ideal home.

Investment benefitsWhy a Single-Story Home is Ideal for Seniors

One-story homes are popular with a wide variety of home buyers. The open-concept design style appeals to many, which gives these homes a good resale value. Single-story homes are very energy efficient since there’s only one level to heat/cool. In addition, the outside of these homes is easier to maintain, paint, decorate, etc.

Wide, open spaces

For those who have or are preparing for future mobility challenges, single-story homes generally offer wider floor plans and larger rooms which are ideal for maneuvering mobility aids like wheelchairs, walkers and scooters. Some homes are built with wide doorways and few, if any, halls which also helps with navigation. Additionally, a one-story home is easier to escape in case of emergency, minimizing the need for ladders or dangerous heights to descend.

Say no to stairs

Speaking of descending, one of the biggest benefits of a single-story home is the limited need for stairs. Residents who are recovering from an injury, surgery or who have other physical limitations don’t have to face the challenge that stairs present when moving around the house. Few or no stairs also makes the home easier to clean and removes the danger of slipping, tripping or falling on the stairs.

If there are stairs, ramps, stair lifts, portable step lifts, elevators or home lifts are possible solutions to navigating them. Different types of ramp options include freestanding (which is generally made of wood or aluminum and is the longest-lasting and sturdiest option), portable, modular and threshold. When selecting the best resource for overcoming the challenge of stairs, be cognizant of the user’s weight and mobility level.

Consider the landscaping

Single-story homes are often built on larger lots, so they have the potential to have larger yards. For homeowners who aren’t gardeners or who don’t have the desire/ability to maintain the property themselves, this means additional expense for landscaping services. Or another option is installing a low maintenance landscaping design.

Other safety tips

For homeowners who anticipate “aging-in-place” and don’t already have it, when installing or replacing flooring, for improved safety, consider non-slip flooring or thin carpet if it is well-secured. Small area rugs can be a slipping, tripping or falling hazard, especially in the bathroom.

And if possible, replace the tub with a low step or roll-in shower/tub to reduce the danger of tripping and falling when entering or stepping out of a traditional deep-walled bathtub. And an outward-opening bathroom door is also nice, allowing more room for navigating. Installing adjustable hinges on doors is a great way to gain an extra inch or two if the doorway is too narrow to accommodate a wheelchair. And before installing grab bars, for additional stability, make sure they’re bolted to a stud or in reinforced walls.

More Great Tips for Senior Buyers and Homeowners:

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