“Universal design refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to both people without disabilities and people with disabilities. The term “universal design” was coined by the architect Ronald L. Mace to describe the concept of designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.” Wikipedia
The entry is # 1 on most people’s agenda when they start to imagine getting in and out of their house. Almost everyone wants to Age in Place. Too many of us are forced to move, losing the comforts and familiarity of our home, because we cannot get in the door.
What makes a home “universal”? It’s simple. Everyone can use universal design! It doesn’t matter if you are young or old. You could be short or tall, healthy or ill. You might have a disability. Or you may be a prize-winning athlete. Because of universal design, people who are very different can all enjoy the same home. And that home will be there for all its inhabitants even when their needs change.
With a groundswell of baby boomers heading towards seniordom, adding universal design features now adds to the value of the home. So for those who like to plan ahead, like the Dallas couple in the article, incorporating universal design elements in a remodel makes sense to do sooner rather than later.