I’ve decided to design and build a retirement concept home for myself. I’ve watched all those “how to build-them” shows on TV for years. I’m thinking of a one level, two bedroom, two bathroom, unfinished basement for my future music room/wine cellar/storage/ and if I ever need it, an income suite.
I have been around the building industry for forty years and have seen some very cool, innovative ideas. From better technology regarding air handling and treatment and light, to better materials for me and the environment impact, including all the current knowledge on ergonomic design, the human body interacting with our built environment. Just when I thought I had It all figured out… it turns out I was just close.
I looked down at the floor and into the loving eyes of my little purse-sized dog. He’s now 5 years old — will he be able to age in place in this home design? I’ve had so many friends who have had difficult experiences with their pets. The most common one I’ve heard is, having to carry their pet outside a few times a day for elimination purposes because there is a staircase, or steps, or something the pet cannot negotiate anymore.
Oh, Yeah, then you have to carry them back inside. Where is the pet’s dignity and sense of independence now? I checked the SPCA web site but there was nothing on home design. I looked at the provincial and national building codes and could find nothing relating to pet aging in place. I ranted at my Mom and friends, and that poor woman at the check-out register at my local grocery store still nothing. Nothing offered in those magazine racks at the check-out either.
So, I emailed SAFERhome. They got back to me and explained. All the design and technology are sitting right on the shelf and easy and inexpensive to incorporate either now or later. With the proper walkway and things such pet elevators options, anything can be fixed. That may seem extreme however our 120 pound Shepherd is getting to be too for me to manage.
Then they pointed out since I was preregistered with them to build my new home to the SAFERhome Standard. 99% of the aging in place pet issues were already resolved as a by-product of building to the SAFERhome Certification Standard. The program delivers what most people need in their homes which is not being addressed completely by various building codes.
Happy Pet Happy Home