Functional Design for Any Age. Making Homes Comfortable for Years to Come.
Every eight seconds, a baby boomer turns 60. As the number of Americans growing older and living longer continues to increase, it's important to design houses that allow people to live in their own homes for as long as comfortably possible. Architects and builders can help extend livability in a home by incorporating design solutions that help maintain quality of life and independence as homeowners age.
Milgard is one of the few window and patio door manufacturers developing innovative products and solutions for this fast-growing market including easy open and lock doors and windows. In fact, two of our innovations have received awards for this.
Residents over the age of 50 are the fastest growing segment of the housing market. They are wealthier and more active than past generations. Only five percent of the population over age 65 live in nursing homes, preferring instead to age in place, and to live safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or agility. Boomers seek products that help them enjoy their homes and make for easy living.
Ever-youthful boomers do not want products that appear to be geared for senior citizens or for the elderly. Consequently, the best designs are "universal designs" that work for everyone. The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina University defines universal design as "the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost, benefitting people of all ages and abilities."
A 2007 Hanley Wood study found that boomers expressed the most interest in universal design features that were said to:
Described in these terms, universal design appealed to more than 75% of boomers surveyed. Milgard SmartTouch hardware epitomizes universal design by coupling an elegant look with superior usability and ease-of-use.
Milgard continues to explore new ways to create products and solutions that help people live in their homes longer, more safely, comfortably and enjoyably.
Features of some Milgard products that meet the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines developed by the Department of Justice include:
For more information, see our white paper, "Innovation Key to Ease-of-Use and Accessibility."