• rduncan81

ADU's. Are they for you?

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

Recently I read, “Where you choose to live at age 65 won’t necessarily be where you will choose to live at 85.” True enough. But my suggestion is to find a place to live at age 65 where you have a shot at remaining until age 85 as safely and comfortably as possible. Not many of us do this, and we wind up becoming trapped in our homes or having to leave prematurely because we just can’t manage our daily tasks anymore. But, we all say that we want to stay in our current home as long as possible. So, our advice is to work on how you can make that happen rather than select or remain in a home that has stairs everywhere, cramped bathrooms, and key function areas on different floors.

One option among many is an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). An ADU is a small dwelling or apartment that can be created on your current home property or that of a relative, for example. It can be a separate small dwelling, a dwelling attached to a home (an addition), or a full apartment within a larger home (such as a converted basement or other space). In all cases, it should be designed with a step-free entrance, a usable bathroom, and other key features. Click HERE for more information.

While they are not zero-cost, they are more affordable than the annual expenses of life care communities, assisted living facilities or a brand new traditional build. Living in an accessory dwelling unit can also help us maintain family and community connections and allow easier paid or unpaid in-home caregiving. Their viability is improved with the availability of home and community-based services, such as home health.

Our friends at AARP created a great ADU guide that can be downloaded HERE.

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The Ronald L. Mace Universal Design Institute is a non-profit organization based in North Carolina dedicated to promoting the concept and practice of accessible and universal design. The Institute's work manifests the belief that all new environments and products, to the greatest extent possible, should and can be usable by everyone regardless of age, ability, or circumstance.

As the Institute's sister initiative, Better Living Design is changing the way homes and home products are designed, built and remodeled to better meet the needs of everyone at every life stage. 

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