Top Four Tips for a Beautiful, Elder-Safe Home

(Sponsored) Aging-in-place advice from the experts at Graham Builders.


Most people want to remain in their homes, not a nursing facility, as they age. With the high number of older homes in Hawaii, many residences require substantial modifications to achieve this dream.


Veteran design-build contractor Graham Builders shares four essential tips to consider when designing an elder-safe home. Whether you want a home remodel, addition or rebuild, consider these tips when planning your aging-in-place project.


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Photo: Courtesy of Graham Builders


Tip No. 1: Design with a certified aging-in-place specialist.

Picturing what life with limited or no mobility is like can be difficult when healthy and spry. A CAPS design-build contractor can explain what that experience is like and suggest best design practices to ease declining agility. Just as important, advice from an aging-in-place expert can provide safety, comfort and added value to the home. CAPS was formed in 2001 through a joint effort with the National Association of Home Builders and AARP.


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Photo: Courtesy of Graham Builders



Tip No. 2: Eliminate barriers.

Many island residences were built before wheelchairs, walkers and other durable medical equipment were commonly found outside a hospital or nursing home. Most interior doorways in these dwellings do not provide adequate clearance and will prevent the user from moving from room to room. This is also true regarding homes with varying floor levels. Another common impediment to aging at home is tight bathrooms. If the elder cannot approach the toilet, remaining at home is unlikely. CAPS design-build contractors identify and rectify home obstacles.


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Photo: Courtesy of Graham Builders



Tip No. 3: Design for adaptability.

The need for an accessible home can happen in an instant. Aging professionals agree that it is best to prepare the home before it is required. Experienced architectural designers can guide homeowners toward solutions for changing family demands. A large living room with sliding partitions, for example, can quickly become an accessible bedroom. Adjustable closet systems can be tweaked to a lower height if someone lands in a wheelchair or develops shoulder issues. Many homes that transition gracefully begin through collaboration with an experienced CAPS design-build contractor.


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Photo: Courtesy of Graham Builders



Tip No. 4: Educate yourself.

Watch Age-ility at Home: Creating Homes for a Lifetime for provocative, quality suggestions presented by Oahu’s first CAPS designees. Register for the next “Home for Life Seminar” to learn what you need to do to have a successful home construction project.


With more than 31 years of design-build experience, Graham Builders has mastered the ability to design homes that adapt to the evolving needs of families. As Oahu’s first design-build general contractor to employ a certified aging-in-place specialist, Graham Builders is the most trusted multigenerational homebuilder on the island.


Graham Builders remains the only local general contractor honored with the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Small Business Ethics and has helped scores of island families design functional, beautiful new homes, additions and large renovations. For a library of the company’s work and more helpful homebuilding tips, visit