Growing old very well at residence could rely on dwelling style

When a real estate agent released Gail Cain and her spouse, Sam Hasegawa to their 1910 home in Sioux Falls’ Cathedral Historic District, Gail says she understood appropriate absent the historic dwelling with its leaded-glass windows, pocket doorways and wrap close to porch was the property for them.

“I grew up in a residence kind of like this. So, it always felt like household to me – the moment I walked in. And I really do not want to ever give it up. We’ve carried out what we can to make absolutely sure that we can keep here for as prolonged as we can,” Gail Cain claims.

In retirement, the couple remains healthy and energetic. But they understand they may not constantly be equipped to do stairs. With this in brain, they a short while ago included a main floor shower home all over the corner from an existing powder area.

“Essentially we have almost everything we need on the first flooring,” Cain says.

Like Cain, most South Dakotans would prefer to continue being in their have households as they improve previous. Unfortunately, most households are not intended with getting old in mind, clarifies Leacey Brown. She is a Gerontology Field Expert with South Dakota State University Extension.

“Many of our homes are not developed with more mature grown ups and the desires of finish-of-lifetime in thoughts. They normally are created for this legendary, solitary family that is never going to develop aged. They phone it, “Peter Pan,” housing. You know, housing for folks who are never likely to improve old,” Leacey Brown states.

Brown claims to age-nicely at house, there should be no-stair accessibility to all vital areas and it is important that doorways and bogs are substantial ample to accommodate a walker and wheelchair.


An available dwelling is not just for older individuals. Architect Gene Fennell claims even youthful persons are prone to an incident that could impact their mobility.

“We’re all an incident away from needing that accessibility. And possibly only briefly, possibly for 6 months, probably for 6 months, you know. The expense of renovation is so a lot additional than the believed system and doing it suitable in the first position,” Gene Fennell claims.

The imagined procedure Fennell references is common layout – or planning with accessibility for all in thoughts.

“I start off with Common Style and design, and that is style that does not leave men and women of different capabilities at the rear of. Individuals have distinctive talents, in other phrases not segregation of entry. When I discuss about segregation I’m not speaking about racial, or everything like that. I’m speaking about capabilities, actual physical talents … Design must take all of that into thing to consider and not be binary in alternatives that can be created,” Fennell suggests.

To emphasize his stage, Fennell shares an illustration of how he executed universal style rules when he created an addition to the Pennington County Courthouse. The original 1922 developing experienced a lot more than 30 steps leading to a grand entrance. In 2017, Fennell’s addition welcomed the community with a no-stage entrance.

“Instead of forcing folks to make a preference of, “we go up these steps or we go in a wheelchair carry,” we just tipped the entire ground so that all people approached the interior of the creating the identical way. I get that thought method into residential style and design,’” Fennell says.

Common style was best of head when community wellbeing undertaking manager and licensed contractor Shauna Batcheller, worked with architect Robert Arlt, to structure her family’s home. She and her spouse selected to make their new dwelling inside of a narrow large amount in between two change of the century residences close to a downtown Sioux Falls historic district. The Batchellers have two younger sons.

“Our intention was to future-prepare as significantly as we could…it is adaptable to our recent loved ones. But also adaptable to our upcoming requirements and designs and you know, our modifying overall health scenarios more than the many years. So, we designed in as a lot of of all those capabilities as we could to make it a home that was helpful. So, factors that we put in location are: zero-action entry, a bathroom and kitchen on the principal flooring. There is also a space that can effortlessly transform to a bedroom on the main degree. There is a significant rest room that could accommodate a wheelchair. There are also developed-in laundry hookups on the principal stage, so we could effortlessly change our dwelling to a single-ground residing and we could accessibility the outdoors and not have to use stairs in any way to go to any of the most important features of our residence,” Shauna Batcheller claims.


Batcheller says she did not have to give up on design and style factors she wanted to create a home following universal structure ideas.

“I believe which is a worry for people today. They feel it’s going to be extra high-priced to make a dwelling universally designed or that they are likely to have to make trade-offs, and their home is going to seem like a hospital place. But I hope to share some pics of what we’ve been able to do, just to reveal how it can be done and that it can be performed in a lovely way,” Batcheller suggests.

All through their home’s construction, Batcheller broke her foot and had to be non-pounds bearing for two months

“It was these an unforeseen circumstance that reinforced our choice to make our household quick to get in and out of, uncomplicated to get close to in,” Batcheller claims.

Finding their residence inside going for walks distance of amusement, dining and crucial companies like a grocery retail outlet and article office environment was also intentional mainly because dropping the skill to drive is frequently aspect of the growing old system. For South Dakota Public Broadcasting, I’m Lura Roti.


  • Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Discipline Professional 605-394-1722 or [email protected]
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