AARP recently concluded its comprehensive "Livability for All: The 2016 AARP Age-Friendly Community Survey" report, which surveyed residents age 50 and older in 11 metros across the country about the features of their current housing, the importance of community features, and the need gaps between present conditions and preferences.

The survey drills down into "eight domains of livability" the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified as being key to the quality of life of older adults, and reflects the views of 5,978 residents over the age of 50 from a total of 14 metros.

Note: Three of the 14 metros (Philadelphia, Washington County, and West Sacramento) surveyed residents age 45 and older, thus dipping into the Gen X population.

Last week, BUILDER broke down general segments of the report that established Boomer preferences when it comes to moving (or not moving) in retirement, and gauged the livability of their current community for aging. An overwhelming majority of survey respondents would like to stay in their current home as they age, but could be swayed to move if they find a home with accessibility features that would enable them to live independently while aging.

A follow-up to the article published on our sister site, REMODELING, showcases the top home modifications boomers need to age in their current home. With the invaluable information in hand, builders can easily plan ahead and accommodate the need of retiring baby boomers, a financially powerful, huge population cohort. The heat map below shows how important certain home modification projects are to residents in each of the 14 markets surveyed, and would be most necessary for them to age in their current home. Across the board, bathroom accessibility is the biggest concern among survey respondents, but residents in Brownsville, Texas, (58%), Philadelphia (49%), and San Antonio (47%) report the biggest need for such modifications to age in their own homes.

AARP’s findings echo those of the recently-published AIA Home Design Trend Survey, which surveyed 600 architectural firms during Q12015, and found that accessibility features, open floor plans, and one-story living were among the top five in-demand features of potential consumers. In one contrast to the AIA's results, which reported home additions/alterations in the remodeling sector as the most active segment in the first quarter of 2016, AARP survey respondents reported adding a bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen to the first floor as the least necessary home modification to enable aging in place. Regardless, it’s expected that features in the realm of universal design will continue to be top design trends in the coming years, as droves of boomers get ready for, and enter, retirement.

This article was originally featured on our sister site, REMODELING. Read the full article here >>