More baby boomers 'aging in place', making changes to lifestyle
(WHAM) - Brian and Linda Dougherty recall the almost 45 years they've spent in their Spencerport home.
"It was the only house back on the block," Brian said.
"Yeah it wasn't in very good shape when we bought it. We did a lot of work on it," Linda said.
The couple raised their three daughters in the home. Their home expanded from having two bedrooms to almost five.
The pair have created lots of memories and seen lots of change.
Now in their 70s, it seems for these baby boomers, change is constant.
Brian was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2013.
"It's easy to decide what to do when you're in a certain condition," Brian said. "Handicap access is going to be important to get to certain parts of the house. We're addressing it."
They recently renovated their home. They installed an attached garage with a ramp for wheelchair access, a new bathroom with a large curb-less shower; along with wider doorways and doors that swing out.
It's a part of a trend known as "aging in place" - planning now for health and physical changes that may occur down the road.
"We had a big rush about five years ago as the baby boomers started to get a little bit older, both builders and remodelers noticed a trend in the consumer asking for things to be in their home for a longer period of time," said Rick Herman, CEO of the Rochester Home Builders' Association.
People have been asking for items such as rug grippers to place under throw rugs to help prevent falls, replacing door knobs with levers for easier access and grab bars in bathrooms.
Not only this, but the designs for many of the products have changed.
"We see a lot more higher end, fancier designs on hand bars and assist bars for bathrooms and hallways that doesn't make you feel like you're turning your home into a nursing home," said Andy McQuade, who work with Home Depot.
James Albright of Albright Remodeling says these changes are the number one thing he hears from customers.
"Until recently, we did all the window installations for a major manufacture, we dropped that so we can focus on this because we've seen an exponential growth in this in the last 3-4 years," Albright said.
Choosing to "age in place" because for families like the Doughertys, home is just - well - home.
"This was Christmas Eve, this was Thanksgiving. Has parties throughout the year because she comes from a very large family on the west side," said Brian.
"It's us. It's ours. I would never leave. You'd have to drag me out," said Linda.
According to a recent study done by the National Association of Home Builders, this year, 80 percent of remodeling companies are doing aging in place projects. That's up from 68 percent in 2013.