As we know, independence has always been very important to Americans. Advances in healthcare enable today’s seniors to enjoy longer, more productive lives and many are choosing to live independently for as long as possible. An American Association of Retired People (AARP) survey indicates that 83 percent of older Americans prefer to “age in place.”
The Journal of Housing for the Elderly defines this as “not having to move from one’s present residence in order to secure necessary support services in response to changing needs.”
The Aging in Place movement is a growing trend in the housing industry especially as Baby Boomers approach retirement age. Active adults desire to remain in their homes and while they want their homes to look good, they don’t want to be constrained by maintenance concerns or the high cost of up-keep.
The 2010 Brand Use Study conducted by Hanley Wood, a research and publishing company for the building industry, indicated that nearly 50 percent of aging Americans wish to make modifications to their homes that will reduce its maintenance requirements.
As an outgrowth of this movement, building and design professionals have seen an increase in demand throughout the retired homeowner market for low-maintenance building materials. High on the list of these materials are vinyl, polymer and cellular PVC exterior siding and trim products. And, while low maintenance is key, ever improving technologies have enabled impressive aesthetic advances for these products, resulting in incredibly realistic appearances.
Maintaining independence for older Americans will continue to be a high priority as more Baby Boomers reach retirement. Quality materials that look great but require minimal maintenance and help protect a home’s value will encourage more independent Americans to age in place.
Drew Brandt, LEED AP, CGP is Director of Product Marketing, CertainTeed Siding Products Group