According to the AARP the number of Americans over age 65 will more than double from 40 million today to 81 million by 2040. It is not hard to see that the majority of these folks will need a place to live somewhere outside of the normal retirement community. In today’s financially strapped times it is making more sense for seniors to move in with their children. I can personally say that Eve and I are in this growing group of ‘sandwich generation’ couples or those 40-55 year olds that have children still in school and parents living with them.
The question I often hear is, ‘does it make sense to add on to my home when the real estate market has dropped so much?’. That’s a question I can answer with a resounding “maybe”. All kidding aside, I try to understand the whole picture of what the family is trying to accomplish both short and long term. Sometimes adding on is the only option since all available rooms are spoken for or there may be only one bathroom with 3 kids – not a good option to bring a senior into.
If adding on, consider the long term usage of the space for resale value – an example would be to design the addition for your aging parent now with the option to easily convert to an office or bonus space down the road – which is the number one request of new homeowners . A principle called Universal Design – or designing for all types of people no matter what their physical limitations may or may not be is gaining wide acceptance with builders and remodelers in the aging in place market as these design principles are transparent and add to the value of a home.
The key to all this is to retain a knowledgeable CAPS certified contractor (follow this link for more information on finding CAPS certified contractors in your area http://www.nahb.org/directory.aspx?sectionID=667&directoryID=387) who can get to know your families needs and then develop a plan that works for your family and aging parent now and well into the future.