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Some 70% of seniors spend the rest of their life in the place they celebrated their 65th birthday. Think about that for a minute. It means that the log or timber frame home that you are planning to build will most likely be the home you live in for the rest of your life, and that is a good thing.

However, with that in mind, your home should be designed to support the physical and sensory changes that older adults encounter as we age. Our Honest Abe designers can prepare plans that take into account age-related conditions such as reduced mobility or limited range of reach without sacrificing the beauty of a custom wood home.

Below is a checklist of options to discuss with our designers and your builder. You’ll still have the home you’ve always wanted, but forever can be much more comfortable from a place where you can age safely.

Get in touch with an Honest Abe Sales Rep or Independent Dealer to begin the discussion.

Ideas for making a log or timber frame home safe for aging in place without compromising beauty.



  • Adapt lower floor of home for possible one level living
  • Increased incandescent general and specific task lighting
  • Easy garage or parking access
  • At least one entry is without steps
  • Doorways 36″ wide with off-set hinges on doors
  • Levered door handles instead of knobs
  • Electrical outlets at 18 inches instead of 12
  • Easy to open or lock patio doors and screens
  • Light switches at 42″ instead of 48
  • Adjustable controls on light switches
  • Luminous switches in bedrooms, baths and hallways
  • Strobe light or vibrator-assisted smoke and burglar alarms
  • Lower window sills especially for windows on the street
  • Programmable thermostats for heating and cooling
  • Contrast colors between floor and walls
  • Color borders around floor and counter-top edges
  • Non skid flooring where possible
  • Peep hole at a low height
  • Incorporation of emergency response system installed or wearable



  • Lever faucets and faucet mixers with anti-scald valves
  • Temperature controlled shower and tub fixtures
  • Stall shower with a low threshold and shower seat
  • Grab bars at back and sides of shower, tub and toilet or wall reinforcement for later installation
  • Bathrooms with turn around and transfer space for walker or wheelchair (36″ by 36″)
  • Higher bathroom counters
  • Installation of medical response device
  • Kitchen
  • Kitchen cabinets with pullout shelves and lazy susans
  • Easy to grasp cabinet knobs or pulls
  • Task lighting under counters
  • Adjustable upper shelves and pull out lower shelves
  • Variety in kitchen counter height – some as low as table height (30 inches)
  • Gas sensor near gas cooking, water heater and gas furnace
  • Color or pattern borders at counter edges


From www.seniorresource.com.