- How much of your work is actually Aging in Place, vs. a typical client request to redesign a Bathroom or Kitchen?  Most clients hire Diana to work on a remodel of their new home after they move in, for cosmetic updates and more modern finishes. Many DO like the idea of curbless showers, because they are more stylish and popular, with the added bonus of how long they can enjoy it. (Currently only 15% are CAPS remodels)

- What is Aging in Place?
Often, people hear 'aging in place' and immediately think wheelchair accessible. The real issues are about safety related to decreases in strength, stamina, mobility, and/or loss of hearing and vision. An aging-in-place remodel is not about ramps and grab bars. It's about making your home safe, comfortable, and suited to your specific situation for all the stages of your life, or those you love.

- What is at the top of the list of most requested accessibility remodels?
Converting standard tubs and showers to curbless designs are the most popular ways to make your bathroom safer and more user friendly. A larger-model walk-in shower with a low or nonexistent curb may work, but common changes include the installation of “comfort height toilets” and stylish grab bars to make standing and balance easier. 

- How will an Aging in Place remodel affect my property value?
One sign of a good remodel is a timeless look. Whether or not you are going to plan for the future, keep in mind that
10,000 Americans are turning 65 every day in the United States, so there is a good chance that accessibility improvements will improve your value.

- Can finishes be customized?
Yes, always! Traditional doorknobs and handles can be difficult to grip and operate. Lever-style features are easier to use and can add character to your space.
Grab bars and rails are now available in a variety of colors and finishes that look lovely in any bathroom. Flooring is also big consideration for both baths and kitchens. Textured surfaces increase traction and are ideal in the tub and shower area, and the overall floor. 

- What does the CAPS certification entail?
The Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) Program was developed by AARP and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to assist consumers in making their homes usable for a lifetime—regardless of their age, size, or functional ability. A traditionally designed home is not built to address the normal variation in functional ability typically seen among today’s homeowners. Over 80 percent of people aged 45 and over want to remain in the own homes for as long as possible (age in place) so the market is busy with home modifications,

- Advantages of an Aging in Place remodel with Zapata Design*  
• Enables you or your loved ones to live in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of your age or mobility.
• Find simple solutions to start with, like the installation of stylish grab bars or adjustment of your counter top.
• Redesign a multi-functional first floor master bedroom/office or bathroom.
• Discover and deliver creative solutions to common environmental barriers.
• Help figure out a realistic budget that you will need for your project(s), or phases toward goals.
• Consider the resale value of this investment in your home.
• Design a more functional kitchen or bathroom for you and your family.
• Work closely with a General Contractor - or manage a team of reliable sub-contractors, sourcing the right experience to fit your project.
Plan ahead in stages. By planning now, you can make your own mold, rather than fitting into one.
• Select universal design features and home modifications that enable people to continue living independently in their homes for longer periods of time.

 

* Diana Zapata is also a Volunteer Board member of the NW Villages non-profit organization in Portland, Oregon.