Aging in Place – Eliminating Pitfalls | Professional Development


0 Credit Hours | Online Narrated Class | Instructor: Paul Spite
This course will give you a thorough understanding of the physical challenges and cognitive issues faced by the elderly, beneficial lighting strategies, exterior design for nature enjoyment and interior design to accommodate the handicapped and the aged.

SKU: 5046 Category: Tag:


Aging in Place – Eliminating Pitfalls

In millions of homes across our country, and in the homes of people we love, existing residences are slowly but surely becoming prisons for their occupants. This happens as the aging process inevitably removes our ability to successfully navigate stairs and perform daily tasks required to live and survive independent. Societal options exist to move from private residences into congregate living facilities, where oversight and care are offered at various levels for those facing challenges. But few are interested in thus surrendering their independence. We prefer to just age-in-place.

It is possible to remain at home as physical and / or mental deterioration makes doing so more challenging. Given the amount of research that preceded establishing design standards to accommodate the handicapped, new structures can be designed which are far more user-friendly to the elderly. Changes to existing homes can also be made in incremental steps as needs arise, just not as efficiently as doing so from scratch.

The knowledge and technology to enable our elders to stay at home are well established. All that is lacking are finances to do so, the time to do so, the will to do so and wide-spread dissemination of knowledge on how to do so.

The last of those issues is addressed in this work.

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • A thorough understanding of physical challenges that make aging-in-place more difficult.
  • An increased awareness of cognitive issues that make aging-in-place more difficult.
  • Resolvable issues faced by the elderly while navigating outside the home.
  • Changes in typical lighting strategies that are beneficial to an aging population.
  • Proper design of exterior amenities to facilitate increased enjoyment of nature by an older population.
  • The impacts of different choices in finishes in reducing dangers faced while aging-in-place.
  • Design choices that make common areas in multi-family housing more user-friendly to the aged.
  • Changes in cabinetry needed to accommodate use by the handicapped

Course Outline

The Scope of This Work
Problems to be Expected with Aging
Expect Resistance

  • Don’t Expect Gratitude
  • Graduated Change
    • Phase 1 – Fairly Unaware
    • Phase 2 – Pondering
    • Phase 3 – Implementing
    • Maintenance

Potential Changes Ahead
Outside the Home

  • Public Transportation
  • Pick a Walking Route
  • Outdoor Car Parking
  • Site Lighting
  • Site Furnishings
  • Landscaping
  • Gardens
  • Private Exterior Spaces
  • Exterior Wayfinding
    • Building Exterior
    • Accommodating Pets
    • Outside the Entry

Common Areas in Multi-Family

  • Circulation – Lobby
  • Interior Wayfinding
  • Mail Rooms
  • Administration Offices
  • Common Restrooms
  • Storage Areas
  • Common Dining
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Community Room
    • Fitness Center
    • Smoking Area

Inside an Individual Home

  • In General
  • Flexible Spaces
  • Foyer / Entry
  • Living Room
  • Kitchen / Dining:
    • Kitchen / Dining Cabinets
    • Kitchen / Dining Appliances
    • Kitchen / Dining Plumbing
  • Bathrooms
    • Bathroom Cabinets
    • Bathroom Hardware
    • Bathroom Accessories
    • Bathroom Finishes
    • Bathroom Power
  • Bedrooms
    • Bedroom Closets
    • Bedroom Flooring
  • Laundry Room
  • Garage or Carport
  • Storage Areas
  • Hallways / Corridors
  • Stairs and Ramps
  • Additional Vertical Transportation
  • Finishes in General
  • Flooring
  • Windows
  • Window Coverings
  • Doors:
    • Needed Clearance Varies by Door Type
    • Hands-Free Entry
    • Door Hardware
  • Furnishings
  • Acoustics

Alarms and Alerts

  • Emerging Technologies
  • Other Sensor Based Technologies

HVAC System Concerns
Electrical Concerns

  • General Lighting Concerns
  • Lighting Control Types
  • Outlets

Other Available Resources

  • General Aging-in-Place
  • Specific Topics
  • General Building Resources
  • Accessibility / Universal Design
  • Health During Aging

Additional Thoughts

  • Cost
  • Additional Obstacles
    • What’s Behind This Wall
    • Cabinetry
    • Footprint


Customer service will be available by email or telephone between 8am and 6pm Eastern Standard Time. They will assist you with questions regarding course content.

If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-727-7104 or send an email to Email responses will usually be returned promptly, but guaranteed within one business day.

Student policies and procedures are always available by going to our website and scrolling to the bottom of the page (See Attendance, Privacy and Refund Policy).

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Great class
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