Juliet Johnson, brand experience manager for Whirlpool's Jenn-Air brand, recently earned her Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation.
"When most people think of aging-in-place, they often think of grab bars in the bathroom or a wheelchair ramp, not necessarily kitchen appliances," said Johnson. "Jenn-Air believes it is vital to create a kitchen environment that not only accommodates, but also welcomes people of all ages and abilities. Appliances play a significant role in planning a successful design."
Johnson said ideas to consider for aging-in-place remodels might include:
• placing a dishwasher at a comfortable height for easier loading and unloading
• installing an induction cooktop to enhance the safety of someone with sensory limitations
• installing a microwave drawer under the counter for easier access instead of using an over-the-range model
"Aging-in-place design strategies allow people to stay in their homes longer," Johnson said.
Home modification for aging-in-place is one of the fastest growing segments in home remodeling. U.S. Census numbers show that the first wave of baby boomers, turning 65 in 2011, represent 20% of the population.
Johnson also has earned her Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer (AKBD) credentials from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). Her latest projects include conducting hands-on training with designers and trade customers throughout the country, organizing designer roundtables, maintaining relationships with influential designers and teaching NKBA-accredited courses.
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