Aging safely, gracefully

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: DecorDesignImproveTips

Here in Hawaii, the number of residents ages 65 and older grew at a rate more than three times faster than the total state population from 2010 to 2011.

The projected growth of the older population will affect families and living arrangements in Hawaii, where island culture lends itself to families caring for their kupuna.
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With 25 years of helping hundreds of Hawaii families, Graham Builders has recognized the importance for homebuilders to understand what modifications are needed to help homeowners stay in their homes as they get older. Many of Hawaii’s homes are more than 50 years old and were not built to handle an aging population. In fact, Graham Builders was the first firm on Oahu to have a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist — a certification program administered by the National Association of Home Builders — on staff. Today, Graham Builders is proud to have three specialists helping families make necessary changes for the mobility and safety of the elderly residing in their homes.

“With Hawaii’s population aging so rapidly, it’s important that universal design and accessibility are the starting points of design for all homes,” said Evan Fujimoto, president of Graham Builders. “Being young and healthy should not deter homeowners from considering universal design features for their homes, as this allows for comfort no matter what their health circumstances are. The key words to remember are safety, security, comfort and health.”

Basic aging-in-place and universal design features include single-level homes, bigger bathrooms with zero-step showers and a more open layout that allows for ease of moving from room to room. Other features include better and more accessible storage, non-slip surfaces, night lights, space for caregivers and technology for assisted care, such as electrical bandwidth for monitoring machines.

Some features such as grab bars, comfort-height toilets and some home security systems are low-cost items. Others such as wider hallways and doors, good lighting and no-step features are considered medium-cost items, but work well for wheelchairs and baby strollers.

Attend the next “Building Your Home for Life” seminar on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Honolulu Country Club. Seminars are free, but reservations are required. To register for a seminar, visit grahambuilders.com or call 593-2808.

FREE SEMINAR
“Building Your Home for Life”
Aug. 29, 9 a.m.
Honolulu Country Club

GRAHAM BUILDERS
contact // 593-2808
web // grahambuilders.com