Results reveal that while more than 86% of the homeowners surveyed are familiar with common aging-related renovations, less than a quarter – 22% – have completed an aging-related project. The report discusses the need for a new dialogue about aging in place and suggests three solutions to achieve this: change the perception, focus on livability and maximize smart-home technology. “For an aging population of homeowners who plan to maintain an active lifestyle, traditional aging-related renovations aren’t only unnecessary, they’re unwanted,” said HomeAdvisor’s Housing Advisor Marianne Cusato, who prepared the report. “It’s time to change the conversation from medically-oriented aging-in-place renovations, such as adding grab bars, to thriving-in-place projects that homeowners of any age can enjoy.”
Highlights of the report include:
- Homeowners are planning to stay in their homes but aren’t preparing to do so. A majority of homeowners (61%) are planning to stay in their home indefinitely as they age and the aging-in-place dialogue needs to shift to how aging-related tasks, including adding extra kitchen seating and open floor plans can help homeowners thrive in place and make their homes more livable regardless of age.
- By 2032, Americans over age 50 are expected to account for more than half of U.S. GDP, according to AARP. Today, the growing over-50 population already is responsible for at least $7.1 trillion in annual economic activity across the United States5. If this demographic had its own country, it would have the third largest GDP in the world behind the United States and China and ahead of Japan, which have GDPs of $17.95 trillion, $10.98 trillion and $4.12 trillion, respectively.The perception is aging-related projects are solely for elderly or disabled homeowners.
- Among homeowners who’ve never considered a renovation, 40% say it’s because they don’t have a physical disability and 20% say they don’t consider themselves old enough for such a project.
- Smart-home technology supports independence, but is being under-utilized to help older homeowners improve their livability. Two-thirds (67%) of homeowners over age 55 believe smart-home technology could help them as they age, yet fewer than 1 in 5 (19 percent) have actually considered installing it for such purposes.
- The report also reveals the most popular types of smart-home technology to help homeowners thrive in place. The three types of technology homeowners are most interested in include home security, thermostats, and lighting. “Smart-home technology, such as smart-home lighting, which can prevent falls when entering a dark room, is no longer only for the tech-savvy homeowner,” said Cusato. “The current generation of smart-home gadgets can provide comfort and safety, as well as significantly add to the home’s livability.”
The 2016 Report is comprised of results from a recent survey conducted among homeowners and HomeAdvisor’s network of prescreened home professionals. For the complete Aging-in-Place Report, click here.