When a realtor introduced Gail Cain and her spouse, Sam Hasegawa to their 1910 residence in Sioux Falls’ Cathedral Historic District, Gail claims she realized appropriate absent the historic house with its leaded-glass home windows, pocket doors and wrap all around porch was the household for them.

“I grew up in a dwelling type of like this. So, it always felt like home to me – the moment I walked in. And I don’t want to ever give it up. We have finished what we can to make guaranteed that we can remain right here for as extended as we can,” Gail Cain says.


In retirement, the pair stays wholesome and energetic. But they recognize they may perhaps not constantly be equipped to do stairs. With this in head, they not too long ago extra a main floor shower room about the corner from an current powder room.

“Essentially we have all the things we will need on the 1st ground,” Cain claims.

Like Cain, most South Dakotans would like to continue to be in their very own properties as they improve aged. Regrettably, most properties are not built with getting older in intellect, points out Leacey Brown. She is a Gerontology Industry Specialist with South Dakota Point out University Extension.

“Many of our homes are not made with older older people and the desires of end-of-daily life in intellect. They ordinarily are created for this mythical, one family that is never ever heading to grow previous. They contact it, “Peter Pan,” housing. You know, housing for people today who are never ever heading to grow aged,” Leacey Brown says.

Brown suggests to age-nicely at house, there must be no-stair entry to all vital locations and it is vital that doorways and loos are substantial plenty of to accommodate a walker and wheelchair.


An obtainable household is not just for older people. Architect Gene Fennell claims even young men and women are prone to an incident that could impression their mobility.

“We’re all an incident absent from needing that accessibility. And it’s possible only temporarily, it’s possible for 6 months, maybe for six months, you know. The price tag of renovation is so much more than the imagined course of action and executing it ideal in the initial spot,” Gene Fennell states.

The imagined approach Fennell references is common structure – or building with accessibility for all in brain.

“I start out with Universal Style, and that is style and design that does not leave folks of distinctive capabilities at the rear of. Men and women have diverse skills, in other words and phrases not segregation of entry. When I discuss about segregation I’m not conversing about racial, or everything like that. I’m chatting about skills, physical qualities … Layout really should just take all of that into consideration and not be binary in decisions that can be manufactured,” Fennell suggests.

To emphasize his level, Fennell shares an example of how he implemented common style and design rules when he built an addition to the Pennington County Courthouse. The primary 1922 making experienced more than 30 measures primary to a grand entrance. In 2017, Fennell’s addition welcomed the community with a no-phase entrance.

“Instead of forcing people to make a decision of, “we go up these measures or we go in a wheelchair lift,” we just tipped the full flooring so that all people approached the interior of the building the similar way. I acquire that thought method into household design and style,’” Fennell claims.

Universal layout was top rated of mind when neighborhood wellness undertaking manager and accredited contractor Shauna Batcheller, worked with architect Robert Arlt, to design and style her family’s property. She and her husband chose to construct their new property within just a narrow good deal between two transform of the century households around a downtown Sioux Falls historic district. The Batchellers have two younger sons.

“Our intention was to future-system as a lot as we could…it is adaptable to our recent household. But also adaptable to our long run needs and designs and you know, our switching well being scenarios above the many years. So, we developed in as quite a few of those people features as we could to make it a house that was pleasant. So, items that we set in spot are: zero-step entry, a rest room and kitchen on the key flooring. There is also a home that can quickly transform to a bed room on the key amount. There’s a substantial rest room that could accommodate a wheelchair. There are also designed-in laundry hookups on the main stage, so we could easily transform our residence to a single-floor dwelling and we could access the outdoors and not have to use stairs in any way to go to any of the most important functions of our home,” Shauna Batcheller claims.


Batcheller states she did not have to give up on style components she desired to create a house following common design and style principles.

“I consider which is a issue for persons. They imagine it is likely to be much more costly to make a dwelling universally made or that they are likely to have to make trade-offs, and their house is going to appear like a hospital room. But I hope to share some pictures of what we have been equipped to do, just to show how it can be completed and that it can be finished in a beautiful way,” Batcheller says.

Through their home’s construction, Batcheller broke her foot and experienced to be non-excess weight bearing for two months

“It was these an sudden circumstance that strengthened our determination to make our dwelling straightforward to get in and out of, easy to get around in,” Batcheller claims.

Finding their home inside of going for walks distance of leisure, dining and vital providers like a grocery retail store and write-up business was also intentional for the reason that shedding the skill to generate is usually component of the getting older course of action. For South Dakota Community Broadcasting, I’m Lura Roti.


  • Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist 605-394-1722 or [email protected]
  • Dakota At Residence: https://dakotaathome.org/ 1-833-663-9673
  • The Dakota Connection Assistive Technological know-how Loan Fund gives reduced-desire, extended expression loans to help people with disabilities in South Dakota a funding alternative specially built to invest in assistive technological innovation devices and gadgets, household entry improvements or car or truck access modifications. For extra information, make sure you stop by: https://www.dakotalink.net/at-funding
  • The Dwelling & Local community-Primarily based Possibilities and Human being Centered Excellence (HOPE) Waiver operated by the Division of Very long Term Expert services and Supports, permits the Division to use Title XIX Medicaid to offer house and neighborhood-primarily based companies to men and women that are risk for institutionalization. To discover far more, please go to: https://dhs.sd.gov/ltss/titlexix.aspx or connect with 1-833-663-9673
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  • Normal Assets
  • The AARP HomeFit Manual was designed to support men and women stay in the residence they adore by turning exactly where they reside into a “lifelong house,” acceptable for them selves and any person in their house. The tutorial provides remedies that assortment from very simple do-it-oneself fixes to improvements that call for competent abilities. Offered on the internet: https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/details-2014/aarp-property-healthy-tutorial-getting older-in-location.html
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