Aging in Place


Melanie Horn Mallers, a Professor of Gerontolgy at Cal State Fullerton joined Dean today to discuss how you can change your home as you age in the same place.

Here are tips they shared:

1. Entering Home

• Outdoor ramp with gradual incline integrated into exterior home design

• Covered porch providing protection from the elements

• 42 inch wide entry door with a half inch beveled door threshold

• Five by five foot open area at either side of the entry door

2. General Floor Plan

• Single floor living

• All hallways are 48 inches wide

• All interior doors and passageways accessing a major room are 36 inches wide

• All interior doors called out to have levered handles

• Optional basement - Stair risers are 6 1/2" high for easier stepping and stair width is 3'-6" to enable a future straight rail stairlift

3. Master Bath

• One lavatory sink countertop lowered and open underneath for assisted mobility

• Large curbless walk-in shower

• Glass shower enclosure can be removed and replaced with a curtain rod for easier transfer to a shower seat

• Soaking tub set into a platform allowing one to sit and rotate into the tub vs. stepping into the tub

• Comfort height toilet seats (17 inches vs. standard 15 inches)

• Structural backing called out on drawings for future grab bar locations

• Universal Design

4. Kitchen

• Built-in oven at countertop height for easier food transfer

• Microwave oven located in built-in lower cabinet for easier food transfer

• Sink and cooktop can be retrofitted to be open underneath for assisted mobility

• Roll-out shelves in pantry and lower cabinets

• All cabinet hardware called out is easy-to-grip handles

5. Garage

• Garage large enough to accommodate accessible ramp

• Garage ceiling height allows for retrofitting to a 9 foot height garage door for accessible van with a higher than normal cab

For more information, please listen here:


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Home with Dean Sharp

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