With over 10,000 baby boomers reaching 65 every day, the majority want to keep their current home for as long as possible. “aging in place”It could be as simple as how well-equipped their homes are for safety, comfort and health.

“You need to plan for reduced eyesight, poorer balance, diminished flexibility and less energy for upkeep,”Vicki Payne is a designer and expert in home improvement. “Making upgrades now to accommodate changing needs can make the difference between staying in your home or having to move.”

Common age-in-place interior renovations include no slip floors, grab bars in bathrooms and curb-less tiled baths, upgraded lighting, wide doors, levers and knobs in place of knobs, drawers and cabinets, and higher electrical outlets.

Outside, well-trimmed shrubs and automatic lights, no- or very low-step entranceways, wide, textured, nonslip sidewalks and well-trimmed shrubs can increase safety. Vinyl siding, which is durable and low-maintenance, can also be used to reduce upkeep.

“For boomers’ peace of mind and quality of life, vinyl siding is an ideal solution,”Payne stated. “It withstands sun, heat, cold and strong winds, never needs painting or re-caulking, and it only requires periodic cleaning with a garden hose, soft-bristle brush and a bucket of soapy water. In addition, insulated siding can save energy costs, improve comfort by preventing drafts and reduce noise.”

Vinyl siding doesn’t absorb water and rainscreening does not trap water behind it, making vinyl siding less vulnerable to water damage. This is according to Houzz.com, which conducted a study on home remodeling and design website Houzz.com.

One in five homeowners thinks their home has a negative effect on their health. The majority of respondents said that home renovations are motivated by the desire to prevent health problems or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Homeowners who considered their homes to be healthy were more likely than others to have done home improvements in the last 12 month.

“Homeowners are recognizing that their homes can have considerable impact on their well-being — physical, psychological and economic,”Payne stated. “Retirees don’t want surprises. That’s why materials selection is an important part of any renovation, and partly why vinyl siding has been the number-one choice in exterior cladding for the last 20 years.”

In collaboration with Home Innovation Research Labs and the NAHB 50+ Housing Council, the NAHB Remodelers of Home Builders (NAHB) developed the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), a program that assists boomers who need home modifications. Although most CAPS professionals work with remodelers, there are also general contractors, architects, general contractors and other health care professionals. You can find more information at www.nahb.org.

Visit www.vinylsiding.com to learn more about it. www.vinylsiding.org.