Open Spaces for Aging in Place

A man and woman laying in bed smiling for the camera.

Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.
~Wendell Berry, Farming: a hand book


Aging in Place

There is something to be said for wide open, well illuminated spaces with less clutter in the home. Clutter happens and it seems like a law of nature that any unoccupied horizontal surface will attract (sooner or later) stuff, becoming a safety issue. And where there is too much stuff there can be trouble. Often the relationship between stuff and health is inverse.

George Carlin had the best take on stuff:

That’s all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That’s all your house is- a place to keep your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time. A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You can see that when you’re taking off in an airplane. You look down, you see everybody’s got a little pile of stuff. All the little piles of stuff. And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn’t want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that crap you’re saving. All they want is the shiny stuff. That’s what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get…more stuff! Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore!

Aging in Place Opened UP

1) Double Doors can provide enough room to enter/exit whether you are in a wheelchair, walker, or carrying that box from Amazon, and windows and let in more natural light

2) Consider Pocket Doors, accordion or bi-fold doors because they provide better access room-to-room

3) Off-set door hinges that swing past door-jams will also make smaller door spaces larger

4) Optimally door jams should accommodate 32 inches or greater for accessibility

5) When it comes to hallways 42 inch in width is best for aging in place needs

6) Clogging up living spaces with stuff will challenge room-to-room navigation and eventually lead to a tripping hazard or impeding a rapid exit if a house fire occurs

Wider doors and hallways can provide a sense of spaciousness and extended visual fields, thus providing a feeling of openness and wellbeing. From Men’s Health online research has shown a correlation between clutter and health (environmental determinants of health):

Other research has shown that being in a messy room will make you twice as likely to eat a chocolate bar than an apple. Finally, people with extremely cluttered homes are 77 percent more likely to be overweight. Tidy homes have been found to be a predictor of physical health. Participants whose houses were cleaner were more active and had better physical health, according to another study (This Is What it Means if a Messy Room Stresses You Out. A psychologist explains the link between messiness and anxiety. BY LIBBY SANDER JAN 23, 2019)

Aging in place successfully takes room–room to cultivate health and a sense of wellbeing. Opening up WIDER doors/windows for spaciousness and light can go a long way towards longevity at home…


A Place For My Stuff



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