Aging in Place

Aging in Place – Part One: Three Scenarios

These days, there’s a lot of conversation around the topic of “aging in place“, so we’ve decided to write a three-part series on the subject. This first post will map out three aging in place scenarios, but before we get started, let’s review at what aging in place means.


The website speaks of aging in place as more than just living in the environment of choice as one gets older. It means being home in a place where emotional and functional needs are met, where family histories continue to develop and where precious memories are protected.


The National Association of Home Builders gives a similar definition: “aging in place means remaining in one’s home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. It means the pleasure of living in a familiar environment throughout one’s maturing years, and the ability to enjoy the familiar daily rituals and the special events that enrich all our lives. It means the reassurance of being able to call a house a ‘home’ for a lifetime.”


The choices, decisions and modifications regarding aging in place are unique to the couples and individuals undertaking the changes. Yet, most homeowners find themselves in one of these three major aging in place scenarios:


  1. Aging in Place without Urgent Needs – This scenario relates to individuals who want to stay in their current home and are not experiencing immediate health/mobility issues, yet they sense current or future needs for aging in place and universal design conveniences.
  2. Aging in Place with Progressive, Condition-Based Needs – This scenario relates to those with chronic or progressive conditions that will require aging in place modifications. These individuals are often aware of their needs, but making changes is not necessarily urgent. Some have chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung or heart disease that pose current challenges and will create future challenges.
  3. Aging in Place with Traumatic Needs – This scenario includes those who experience abrupt changes that demand immediate adjustments in their living environment through aging in place modifications and universal design.


If you’re considering aging in place modifications to your home, be sure to check back and read our next post, which will focus on the specific changes many homeowners in the DC area hire Merrick to make.


As always, we welcome your questions, comments and feedback. Contact me today at 301-946-2356 or


David Merrick
Merrick Design and Build

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