From the Cradle to the Grave

Length: 949 words

From the Cradle to the Grave Every year, one-third of people over the age of 65 falls, and of those people, 20-30% sustains injuries that effect mobility and independence (Rural Institute, 2009). Because of these injuries, it would be a difficult adjustment for one to not be able to move as they once did. Daily tasks such as cleaning, checking the mailbox, or moving from one room to another could become a tedious task. Availability Is define as a home in which a home can be easily visited or lived in by people with disabilities.

The Center for An Accessible Society says that 3 requirements are necessary in visibility: 1) at least one zero-step entrance, 2) doors with 32 inches of passage space, and 3) there Is a bathroom on the lower level that Is big enough to accommodate a wheelchair (The Center for An Accessible Society, 2003). The Issue at hand is to make housing have a better visibility factor. In 1986, Eleanor Smith saw a need for people like her or with other disabilities to be able to move freely and not be Isolated from the rest of the world.

Though the ERM “availability was not yet coined, Eleanor Smith constructed the “Basic Home Access” requirements that we now view as the visibility requirements (Smith, 2008). Visibility is not Just an issue relevant to the aging populations such as the Baby Boom Generation; it can be related to everyone. Immobile Individuals may not be able to vials their loved ones during family holidays, have sleepovers as children, or even pay a friendly visit to a neighbor.

A mundane task such as taking a trip to the restroom could literally have those on wheelchairs crawling since their wheelchairs Anton fit into the bathroom. Being hauled up a steep flight of stairs or from one room to the next can be embarrassing for the person that cannot move freely. Availability Is has a direct correlation to universal design. Ron Mace Is the pioneer of universal design. Universal design is defined as the design of products and environments to be useable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design (Universal Designers and Consultants, Inc. 2008). Universal design and availability are Inclusive concepts. It allows for people tit disabilities and those without disabilities to use the homes. Since universal design is aimed towards people of all ages, a new movement called “aging in place” has been born. The elderly would not have to move to another home or an assisted living facility just to leave under the concepts of visibility and universal design. A home should be comfortable for its inhabitants and visitors from the cradle to the grave.

Visibility, universal design, and aging in place will benefit owners and operators but It affects government and developers as well, Subtle Improvements such as veers as door handles instead of door knobs would benefit an older person who has arthritis or the young woman who is coming into the home with an arm full of groceries. Improvements such as non-skid flooring, no-curb showers, and zero-step entries do not cost more In the construction phase. It Just requires a deferent way of thinking. Style is not a sacrifice for function In the case of availability and universal design.

When houses boasting universal design are up for sale, the changes that 1 OFF adds to the value of the home. Since a home is an asset, it is necessary to maximize he value of that asset (Stations, 2011). Operators of universal design homes will also benefit from the structure. Particularly in the multi-family housing sector, universal design and visibility can be a great selling point to potential renters. By nature, people are creatures of habit and are fairly reluctant to change. As an operator off universal design multi-family unit, it is crucial to point out that a person has the capability to live there for the rest of his or her life.

This not only benefits the resident, but it makes lease renewals more likely. A resident normally does not become profitable until eighteen months into living in a community. If a resident can comfortably live in a community for five, ten, or even twenty years, that means that the operators of the community are making money off of the lease renewals. Though visibility and universal design may not benefit the government and developers, these topics could have a great impact on both of these industries. It has already been mentioned that it does not cost anymore to build homes according to universal design.

It Just calls for developers to think outside of the box. The way that they would normally do things will probably soon become antiquated and innovated thinkers and builders will benefit the most from visibility and universal design. The government will also be affected by the universal design and visibility. Because of the demands for people wanting to live in willable communities, the government may sign into law some aspects of visibility and universal design. For future research, I would recommend seeing the exact dollar amount of percentage making a home universal design compliant would increase the value of the home.

It would be a lengthy process, but I think that seeing if a person can truly comfortably live in a universal designed home from the cradle to the grave is possible. This would give way to the opportunity to see what accommodations would need to be made if any. I would also recommend comparing the close rate before and after universal design on multi-family communities. Visibility, universal design, and barrier free lifestyles are not topics that should spark only the interest of seniors. These topics are applicable to everyone; therefore, everyone should be interested.

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