Ted Porter Quoted in the Article "Aging in Place Comfortably and Stylishly" in The New York Times

Jun 01, 2021

As baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 continue to age, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that people over the age of 65 will outnumber those under the age of 18 as soon as 2034. 

To address the needs of this rapidly growing population, AARP encourages its members to carefully consider ways to make their homes places where they can comfortably and safely age in place.

These kinds of upgrades can start with simple things like installing task lighting in kitchens to accommodate fading eyesight and multi-height countertops to allow people of all abilities to both stands and sit while working in the kitchen, investing in nonslip tiles and grab bars in bathrooms, and relocating select electrical outlets to be 18-inches to 24-inches high, up from the more typical 12 inches off the floor to make them more accessible. Bigger changes can include enlarged doorways to allow for wheelchair access or a walker and adding ramps to eliminate stairs.

Ted Porter, a co-chair for the Design for Aging Committee for the New York City chapter of the American Institute of Architects says the process of making an apartment or home aging-friendly can be relatively easy, inexpensive, and done gradually over time.

Simple upgrades include professionally installing grab bars along long corridors and replacing toggle light switches with glow-in-the-dark rocker switches that are easier to turn on and off.

Mr. Porter also suggests increasing the output of available electric light sources by using larger wattage or lumen bulbs and recommends contrast between wall and floor colors, and between floor hues or finishes wherever height levels change.

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