Life is good. We have been in our certified Lifelong Housing, age-friendly home for over six weeks and our often-stated comment to one another is how “easy” it is to live in a home like this. One of us says that almost every day—smiling as we do.
The no-step entrances assure convenient access from the outdoors or from the large patio in the back of the house. There are 36-inch windowed-doors (with in-built privacy blinds) that lead from the patio to an office or to the great room with its remote-controlled fireplace –or our large master bedroom with its no-door, roll-in shower.
The curving, slightly-elevated and beveled-concrete sidewalk to the front door of this house is actually a ramp– but no one ever realizes that—they instead comment on what a gracious entry we have designed for our home. Anyone could ring the well-positioned doorbell and independently maneuver their wheelchair or walker inside our home without assistance. That was important to us–we have friends who are wheelchair-users and the idea that someone has to carry their chairs with them in the chair (or physically lift them out of the chair —because the chair itself does not fit through a too-narrow door) was definitely not how we wanted to welcome dinner guests. The living area is spacious and well-lit. We have a drop-down counter that allows a person in a wheelchair (or a small child ) to help the host cook a meal if they choose. (Those helpers are my personally-favorite kind of guests.)
Yes–this is a home that acknowledges and respects that some of us have, or will have, mobility issues. But it is also a home a young family with a baby in a stroller could roll in and out of —with no difficulties. It is the kind of home where a teenager could put his soiled football jersey right through a chute in the closet wall to a basket in the laundry room where an easy-access raised washer and dryer might even prompt him to actually wash those dirty clothes. (Well, that’s probably asking too much…).
People who visit us usually know we went through a process to get our newly-built home certified to a specific standard and say upon entering for the first time–”Oh my gosh, I thought it would look institutional! The more typical comment is “This is really quite beautiful.” Thank you very much.
I often say it’s a home for “lazy able-bodied people.” Our guests laugh at that. It might be funny– but it is also true.