According to the Housing Confidence Index released in January 2019, 52% of baby boomers plan to “age in place.” That is, people who were born from 1946 to 1964 say they will not move from their current homes as they enjoy their senior years. Moreover, 88% plan to renovate their houses in preparation for later life, and name bathroom remodeling as their top priority.
This is noteworthy in a metropolitan area like Atlanta, GA, which ranked as “America’s no. 1 rapidly aging city” as recently as 2016. You might have a parent, sibling, or other relative who’s a baby boomer, or you might be part of that generation yourself. Whichever the case, you should take a closer look at such numbers, and perhaps start taking your cue from them.
What are boomers doing now?
The factors behind deciding to “age in place” can get complicated; the reasons for remodeling a bathroom to enable it are simple. As mobility and accessibility become an issue for aging homeowners, the space must become easier to access and safer to use.
The 2018 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study describes what homeowners 55 years and older are doing for their improvement projects:
- 47% change the master bathroom layout
- 7% move the room’s location entirely
- 33% remove the bathtub
Such changes are understandable in light of potential mobility needs:
- Perhaps a bathroom, along with a connecting bedroom, needs to be moved to the ground floor, eliminating the need to go up and down the stairs.
- Maybe the sink and toilet must be brought closer to the door for easier access, prompting modifications to layout.
- Perhaps a walk-in shower (or a “roll-in” one, for wheelchairs) is more convenient than a bathtub one has to climb in and out of.
In line with these, Houzz says older homeowners are also installing upgrades like non-slip floors, grab bars, toilets with lower seats, and lower curbs.
If you haven’t already thought of these projects, you might want to act ahead of the curve. Houzz reports that 35% of baby boomers are making these changes because they currently need them. In turn, only 21% are doing them in anticipation of the time when they do.
What can you do next?
Statistics indicate you should plan ahead as well if not for specific renovation details, then for the money you’d need to finance them. Retirement Living currently pegs the cost of a remodel at a national average of $14,000.
The good news is that the cost of living in Atlanta, GA is relatively reasonable, and you can always find a capable bathroom remodeling specialist like Sterling Works that will honor the plans and budget you have. With them, you can comfortably plan to age in place, and, better yet, turn that plan into reality.
Downsize or Right Size? Baby Boomers Looking to Renovations in Order to Age in Place, Chase.com
2018 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, Houzz.com
Aging Americans, Aging Housing Stock Driving Remodel Boom, MortgageNewsDaily.com