Watch: Aging well at home could depend on home design

Audrey J. Powers

The video previously mentioned comes from SDPB’s arts & lifestyle program, Dakota Lifestyle.

When a realtor introduced Gail Cain and her spouse, Sam Hasegawa to their 1910 house in Sioux Falls’ Cathedral Historic District, Gail states she understood right absent the historic dwelling with its leaded-glass windows, pocket doors and wrap around porch was the home for them.

“I grew up in a household form of like this. So, it normally felt like home to me – the moment I walked in. And I really do not want to ever give it up. We’ve accomplished what we can to make positive that we can remain below for as extended as we can,” Gail Cain claims.


In retirement, the pair continues to be healthier and energetic. But they recognize they may not usually be capable to do stairs. With this in thoughts, they recently added a principal floor shower home around the corner from an current powder place.

“Essentially we have everything we have to have on the initial flooring,” Cain claims.

Like Cain, most South Dakotans would prefer to remain in their personal houses as they grow old. Unfortunately, most households are not made with getting older in mind, explains Leacey Brown. She is a Gerontology Industry Expert with South Dakota Point out University Extension.

“Many of our households are not intended with older grown ups and the requirements of conclude-of-life in mind. They ordinarily are intended for this legendary, single spouse and children that is never ever going to expand old. They call it, “Peter Pan,” housing. You know, housing for people today who are in no way going to improve old,” Leacey Brown claims.

Brown claims to age-effectively at home, there should really be no-stair accessibility to all crucial areas and it is essential that doorways and bathrooms are big adequate to accommodate a walker and wheelchair.


An obtainable dwelling is not just for older people. Architect Gene Fennell suggests even young folks are inclined to an incident that could affect their mobility.

“We’re all an incident away from needing that accessibility. And perhaps only temporarily, maybe for six weeks, it’s possible for 6 months, you know. The cost of renovation is so much much more than the believed method and undertaking it correct in the to start with put,” Gene Fennell claims.

The believed procedure Fennell references is universal design and style – or planning with accessibility for all in brain.

“I get started with Universal Design and style, and that is design and style that does not go away persons of different qualities at the rear of. People today have different talents, in other terms not segregation of entry. When I chat about segregation I’m not chatting about racial, or just about anything like that. I’m chatting about qualities, physical talents … Layout should really consider all of that into thought and not be binary in possibilities that can be made,” Fennell claims.

To emphasize his issue, Fennell shares an instance of how he applied common style concepts when he built an addition to the Pennington County Courthouse. The unique 1922 setting up experienced additional than 30 steps primary to a grand entrance. In 2017, Fennell’s addition welcomed the public with a no-step entrance.

“Instead of forcing people today to make a alternative of, “we go up these methods or we go in a wheelchair carry,” we just tipped the whole flooring so that every person approached the inside of the making the same way. I acquire that imagined procedure into residential style,’” Fennell claims.

Common design and style was leading of intellect when local community wellness challenge supervisor and accredited contractor Shauna Batcheller, labored with architect Robert Arlt, to style her family’s dwelling. She and her partner chose to make their new house within a slim good deal involving two convert of the century residences in close proximity to a downtown Sioux Falls historic district. The Batchellers have two younger sons.

“Our intention was to long run-plan as a great deal as we could…it is adaptable to our recent household. But also adaptable to our long run needs and strategies and you know, our changing health and fitness conditions around the several years. So, we designed in as quite a few of people functions as we could to make it a home that was friendly. So, points that we place in spot are: zero-stage entry, a lavatory and kitchen on the major ground. There’s also a area that can very easily convert to a bed room on the principal degree. There’s a massive toilet that could accommodate a wheelchair. There are also constructed-in laundry hookups on the key level, so we could conveniently convert our residence to a single-floor dwelling and we could accessibility the outside the house and not have to use stairs in any way to go to any of the main features of our residence,” Shauna Batcheller states.


Batcheller states she did not have to give up on style components she preferred to establish a residence adhering to common structure concepts.

“I consider which is a worry for people today. They imagine it is likely to be far more pricey to make a household universally created or that they are likely to have to make trade-offs, and their residence is going to appear like a clinic home. But I hope to share some photos of what we’ve been ready to do, just to reveal how it can be performed and that it can be accomplished in a attractive way,” Batcheller states.

All through their home’s building, Batcheller broke her foot and experienced to be non-fat bearing for two months

“It was these types of an sudden circumstance that bolstered our selection to make our dwelling quick to get in and out of, simple to get about in,” Batcheller states.

Locating their house inside going for walks length of leisure, dining and critical providers like a grocery store and publish office environment was also intentional due to the fact losing the capability to travel is typically aspect of the ageing system. For South Dakota General public Broadcasting, I’m Lura Roti.


  • Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Subject Professional 605-394-1722 or [email protected]
  • Dakota At Property: 1-833-663-9673
  • The Dakota Website link Assistive Technological innovation Mortgage Fund presents very low-interest, prolonged expression loans to permit persons with disabilities in South Dakota a funding choice specially designed to order assistive technologies machines and units, residence obtain improvements or auto accessibility modifications. For additional information and facts, you should go to:
  • The House & Neighborhood-Based Choices and Individual Centered Excellence (HOPE) Waiver operated by the Division of Extensive Time period Providers and Supports, allows the Office to use Title XIX Medicaid to give home and group-primarily based providers to persons that are danger for institutionalization. To discover far more, make sure you go to: or get in touch with 1-833-663-9673
  • The Neighborhood House Enhancement Method (CHIP) provides minimal fascination financial loans for suitable borrowers to strengthen or mend the borrower’s existing single relatives home. To understand more, be sure to go to the South Dakota Housing Advancement Authority web-site:
  • Solitary Spouse and children Housing Ensure Personal loan application helps authorized loan providers in supplying low- and average-money homes the prospect to personal ample, modest, decent, secure and sanitary dwellings as their most important residence in qualified rural regions. Qualified candidates may well make, rehabilitate, boost or relocate a dwelling in an qualified rural spot. The program offers a 90% mortgage notice warranty to authorized loan companies in purchase to lessen the hazard of extending 100% loans to eligible rural homebuyers. To understand a lot more, remember to check out: loan-plan/sd
  • One Family members Housing Mend Loans & Grants, also acknowledged as the Portion 504 Home Restore software, this delivers loans to quite-low-profits owners to mend, enhance or modernize their homes or grants to elderly really-minimal-income householders to remove overall health and security dangers. To learn far more, make sure you pay a visit to:
  • Normal Sources
  • The AARP HomeFit Guide was made to enable individuals remain in the home they like by turning where by they dwell into a “lifelong home,” acceptable for by themselves and anybody in their domestic. The guide presents solutions that assortment from uncomplicated do-it-your self fixes to improvements that demand competent know-how. Readily available on the net: shape-guideline-growing older-in-place.html
  • The Office of Veterans Affairs provides grants to Services associates and Veterans with selected long lasting and total service-linked disabilities to help buy or build an adapted dwelling, or modify an current household to accommodate a disability. To master additional, remember to go to:

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