Watch: Aging well at home could depend on home design

Watch: Aging well at home could depend on home design

The video clip above arrives from SDPB’s arts & daily life system, Dakota Life.

When a realtor launched Gail Cain and her partner, Sam Hasegawa to their 1910 residence in Sioux Falls’ Cathedral Historic District, Gail says she understood right absent the historic household with its leaded-glass home windows, pocket doorways and wrap all around porch was the property for them.

“I grew up in a household sort of like this. So, it generally felt like home to me – the minute I walked in. And I really do not want to ever give it up. We’ve performed what we can to make absolutely sure that we can continue to be in this article for as lengthy as we can,” Gail Cain claims.


In retirement, the pair stays balanced and lively. But they realize they may possibly not always be in a position to do stairs. With this in head, they recently included a key ground shower home about the corner from an current powder space.

“Essentially we have anything we need on the first floor,” Cain states.

Like Cain, most South Dakotans would choose to remain in their personal households as they improve old. Sadly, most residences are not built with growing old in head, describes Leacey Brown. She is a Gerontology Discipline Professional with South Dakota Point out College Extension.

“Many of our households are not made with older grown ups and the demands of conclusion-of-existence in head. They typically are built for this mythical, single household that is under no circumstances heading to expand aged. They call it, “Peter Pan,” housing. You know, housing for people who are hardly ever going to improve aged,” Leacey Brown says.

Brown states to age-well at residence, there ought to be no-stair entry to all vital areas and it is significant that doorways and bogs are substantial enough to accommodate a walker and wheelchair.


An available household is not just for more mature people. Architect Gene Fennell suggests even younger people today are vulnerable to an accident that could effects their mobility.

“We’re all an incident absent from needing that accessibility. And probably only temporarily, probably for six months, possibly for six months, you know. The cost of renovation is so substantially extra than the assumed procedure and doing it correct in the initial place,” Gene Fennell says.

The believed method Fennell references is common design – or developing with accessibility for all in brain.

“I start off with Common Style, and that is design and style that does not depart persons of unique abilities guiding. People today have different talents, in other terms not segregation of entry. When I converse about segregation I’m not talking about racial, or just about anything like that. I’m speaking about talents, actual physical talents … Structure should really choose all of that into thing to consider and not be binary in options that can be built,” Fennell claims.

To emphasize his point, Fennell shares an case in point of how he executed common structure rules when he built an addition to the Pennington County Courthouse. The initial 1922 setting up had more than 30 measures main to a grand entrance. In 2017, Fennell’s addition welcomed the public with a no-phase entrance.

“Instead of forcing folks to make a alternative of, “we go up these ways or we go in a wheelchair raise,” we just tipped the complete floor so that every person approached the interior of the developing the similar way. I choose that assumed method into household style and design,’” Fennell states.

Universal style and design was top of thoughts when community well being challenge manager and certified contractor Shauna Batcheller, worked with architect Robert Arlt, to style and design her family’s household. She and her husband selected to build their new property inside a narrow ton between two turn of the century homes in close proximity to a downtown Sioux Falls historic district. The Batchellers have two young sons.

“Our intention was to potential-strategy as substantially as we could…it is adaptable to our recent loved ones. But also adaptable to our foreseeable future needs and programs and you know, our changing wellness circumstances in excess of the several years. So, we built in as several of those people attributes as we could to make it a property that was welcoming. So, matters that we set in area are: zero-action entry, a lavatory and kitchen area on the key floor. There is also a space that can quickly convert to a bedroom on the principal level. There is a large bathroom that could accommodate a wheelchair. There are also developed-in laundry hookups on the main degree, so we could easily change our household to a single-flooring residing and we could entry the exterior and not have to use stairs in any way to go to any of the most important capabilities of our property,” Shauna Batcheller states.


Batcheller suggests she did not have to give up on layout factors she wanted to build a house adhering to universal structure ideas.

“I assume that is a issue for people. They assume it is heading to be much more high-priced to make a residence universally intended or that they are heading to have to make trade-offs, and their house is likely to search like a medical center area. But I hope to share some pictures of what we have been ready to do, just to exhibit how it can be done and that it can be done in a beautiful way,” Batcheller says.

For the duration of their home’s construction, Batcheller broke her foot and experienced to be non-pounds bearing for two months

“It was these kinds of an unpredicted circumstance that reinforced our choice to make our property easy to get in and out of, uncomplicated to get close to in,” Batcheller states.

Finding their property inside of strolling length of amusement, dining and necessary solutions like a grocery store and publish business was also intentional since dropping the skill to generate is usually section of the aging approach. For South Dakota Public Broadcasting, I’m Lura Roti.


  • Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Subject Specialist 605-394-1722 or [email protected]
  • Dakota At House: 1-833-663-9673
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