by Jennifer Lader
When you meet with us for a Needs and Options Review, we will ask you about your lifestyle, about what brings you comfort and excitement. Lisa Bixler, a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist and Principal of LKB Architecture, believes it’s important for our 55+ clients to consider not only the logistics but also the feelings involved in creating a new home.
The theme in senior residential centers is often community connection. However, some people prefer to stay connected with their current friends and family, rather than meet a whole new group. You may or may not want to stay in your current house. We can help you with all of these scenarios.
Sustaining Family Traditions With 55+ Housing
We understand what makes a house or apartment a home, and that there are choices.
Your very first meeting will be with Lisa, and she will ask, ‘When do you feel most grounded in your current home?’
Your home is your sanctuary, where you return to recharge your batteries and feel centered. What do you love about it?
Many people naturally feel anxiety about leaving home.
‘Some older seniors hang on to being in their house,’ Lisa says. ‘There’s a sense of comfort. Our job is to recognize this comfort and integrate it into a solution that better addresses their current and future needs.’
Oftentimes, clients will tell us about solid family traditions, such as hosting their children and grandchildren for holidays. That can still be possible. Whether you are considering making modifications to your existing home or finally building that dream house by the lake, when everyone comes to Grandma’s for Christmas, it’s a place they’ll love to go.
Maintaining Active Lifestyles
Our ideas grow out of what you want, so Lisa will ask, ‘How do you enjoy spending your time?’
Aging shouldn’t mean giving up the activities that are nearest to your heart and your identity.
Maybe you love gardening and landscaping or taking your dog for long walks around the park.
Perhaps you’re working toward a goal, such as building a dining table in a wood shop. We encourage our clients not to sacrifice those life-affirming interests. We will integrate your core desires into your home, whether this is an apartment, a cottage in a 55+ complex, or a house.
Whatever your situation, your home needs to express who you are and accommodate what you love to do.
The most vibrant parts of you should really be reflected, supported and nourished in your home throughout all stages of life.
In the words of legendary architect Le Corbusier, ‘A home should be the treasure chest of living.’
We realize there are many different lifestyles. Some empty-nesters may want to travel and own low- maintenance homes. Another group may consider multi-generational living in order accommodate their grandchildren and aging parents. Increasing numbers of retirees are starting new businesses or non- profits. Any of these choices will affect the optimum design of your home. It shouldn’t be just a ‘cookie cutter’ plan.
Considering Priorities Moving Forward with 55+ Housing
We want you to consider now, while it is easiest and most affordable. Lisa will ask, ‘What are your priorities?’
If you are healthy now, you aren’t thinking about grab bars for the bathroom; your focus is elsewhere. However, you may decide to be ready for what may come, far down the road, without making a big deal of it by adding extra blocking behind the wall. Aging-in-place strategies are not just helpful for older people. Having extra support in a wet area can also come in handy while recovering from a sports injury or bathing children. Widening a doorway doesn’t just accommodate a wheelchair or walker – it also makes it easier to move furniture and carry armloads of packages.
There have been great advancements in products that serve a dual purpose – like grab bars hidden in a soap dish or toilet paper holder and stylish non-slip floor tiles.
It is completely possible to plan and prepare your home for various long range updates, but not necessarily implement them all at once.
What we don’t want is to design something that doesn’t take your family’s unique needs into consideration. For example, you may not care that your bathroom is completely remodeled if you aren’t able to regularly see your friends. In that case we’d start by focusing on how you can come and go with ease and invite your loved ones to do the same.
We work on possibilities, on what can be gained with this adaptation or move.
Many people, from residents to developers, think about a house’s size and amenities but don’t always consider what the lifestyle will be in that home.
Lisa Bixler and the team here at LKB Architecture raise the more crucial question:
‘What brings you joy?’
We look forward to helping you envision and achieve a home that expresses your individual answer to that most important question.
Please contact us or click here to set up your Needs and Options Review.