Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 26, 2016

Multi-generational living changing home building landscape

Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga

Terry Greene

Despite those fun home improvement shows touting the benefits of ultra-tiny homes, a growing number of families are actually reconfiguring or increasing the size of their living quarters to accommodate aging loved ones.

The trend away from long-term institutional living for the elderly and toward multi-generational living (or dual-living) brings more options than ever in home building and design.

Twenty-one million U.S. households now live multi-generationally, and that number is growing each year. In a recent survey of home shoppers, 44 percent reported they would like to accommodate their elderly parents in their next home. Chattanooga’s affordable housing and reasonable tax rates earned the city a spot on the Wall Street Journal’s Best Places to Retire list recently, while its natural beauty and mild seasons have been long-time attractors for seniors. The infusion of an older population in our community will undoubtedly result in an increase in multi-generational living, and experts say that trend changes the landscape of home design and renovation.

Certified aging in place specialists

With so many configurations and options to consider, many families turn to the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), who can help make homes livable for all generations today and adaptable to future challenges of aging.

Privacy and safety are the two primary considerations for home owners and buyers considering a multi-generational living arrangement. The CAPS professional can help identify the modifications required in an existing home or new house plans, individualized for specific needs. For example, while you’re building out walls to create a separate suite for your parent, you might want to consider widening the doorways to accommodate possible wheelchair use in the future. What about grab bars, additional lighting, and slip-resistant flooring? Do you need separate home entrances? A kitchenette? A private outdoor space?

When it comes to multi-generational living, a CAPS professional can clarify the specific amenities that will allow your family to co-exist and adapt for many years to come.

For more information on CAPS professionals in the Chattanooga area, contact the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at (423) 624.9992 or info@HBAGC.net.