The video clip above will come from SDPB’s arts & everyday living application, Dakota Everyday living.

When a realtor introduced Gail Cain and her husband, Sam Hasegawa to their 1910 house in Sioux Falls’ Cathedral Historic District, Gail says she understood right absent the historic residence with its leaded-glass home windows, pocket doors and wrap all over porch was the residence for them.

“I grew up in a property form of like this. So, it normally felt like home to me – the moment I walked in. And I really don’t want to ever give it up. We’ve performed what we can to make guaranteed that we can stay right here for as extensive as we can,” Gail Cain says.


In retirement, the couple remains nutritious and lively. But they recognize they may perhaps not always be ready to do stairs. With this in head, they not too long ago added a most important floor shower room all-around the corner from an current powder room.

“Essentially we have anything we want on the initially flooring,” Cain states.

Like Cain, most South Dakotans would like to stay in their have residences as they grow old. Regretably, most houses are not built with aging in head, explains Leacey Brown. She is a Gerontology Area Specialist with South Dakota Point out University Extension.

“Many of our houses are not intended with more mature grown ups and the wants of finish-of-lifestyle in head. They normally are built for this mythical, solitary family that is never ever heading to mature outdated. They phone it, “Peter Pan,” housing. You know, housing for people who are under no circumstances going to expand aged,” Leacey Brown claims.

Brown suggests to age-well at home, there need to be no-stair accessibility to all critical places and it is significant that doorways and bogs are massive sufficient to accommodate a walker and wheelchair.


An accessible household is not just for older individuals. Architect Gene Fennell says even young men and women are inclined to an accident that could impression their mobility.

“We’re all an incident absent from needing that accessibility. And probably only briefly, possibly for six weeks, it’s possible for 6 months, you know. The expense of renovation is so significantly additional than the imagined system and doing it appropriate in the very first area,” Gene Fennell says.

The believed approach Fennell references is common style and design – or developing with accessibility for all in intellect.

“I commence with Common Design, and that is layout that does not depart people today of different qualities driving. Men and women have various abilities, in other phrases not segregation of entry. When I discuss about segregation I’m not chatting about racial, or nearly anything like that. I’m chatting about capabilities, actual physical capabilities … Design and style must acquire all of that into thought and not be binary in possibilities that can be produced,” Fennell claims.

To emphasize his stage, Fennell shares an instance of how he carried out universal structure principles when he made an addition to the Pennington County Courthouse. The authentic 1922 making had a lot more than 30 actions main to a grand entrance. In 2017, Fennell’s addition welcomed the general public with a no-action entrance.

“Instead of forcing folks to make a alternative of, “we go up these ways or we go in a wheelchair elevate,” we just tipped the full flooring so that all people approached the interior of the developing the same way. I just take that considered process into household style,’” Fennell states.

Universal structure was major of thoughts when community overall health undertaking supervisor and certified contractor Shauna Batcheller, labored with architect Robert Arlt, to design her family’s dwelling. She and her partner selected to create their new household within just a slender great deal in between two change of the century properties in the vicinity of a downtown Sioux Falls historic district. The Batchellers have two young sons.

“Our intention was to future-system as considerably as we could…it is adaptable to our current household. But also adaptable to our future needs and programs and you know, our altering overall health scenarios around the yrs. So, we constructed in as a lot of of those capabilities as we could to make it a house that was pleasant. So, matters that we place in area are: zero-step entry, a bathroom and kitchen area on the main flooring. There is also a place that can very easily convert to a bedroom on the most important stage. There’s a large toilet that could accommodate a wheelchair. There are also developed-in laundry hookups on the key degree, so we could quickly convert our home to a one-ground living and we could accessibility the outside the house and not have to use stairs in any way to go to any of the major functions of our dwelling,” Shauna Batcheller says.


Batcheller states she did not have to give up on structure factors she wished to make a dwelling adhering to common design and style concepts.

“I believe that’s a worry for individuals. They imagine it is heading to be additional high priced to make a residence universally built or that they are heading to have to make trade-offs, and their residence is heading to appear like a clinic place. But I hope to share some pictures of what we’ve been capable to do, just to show how it can be performed and that it can be completed in a gorgeous way,” Batcheller suggests.

All through their home’s building, Batcheller broke her foot and had to be non-bodyweight bearing for two months

“It was this kind of an unexpected circumstance that reinforced our determination to make our residence uncomplicated to get in and out of, easy to get all over in,” Batcheller suggests.

Finding their household within just going for walks distance of amusement, eating and crucial expert services like a grocery shop and post workplace was also intentional mainly because dropping the potential to drive is normally section of the ageing course of action. For South Dakota Community Broadcasting, I’m Lura Roti.


  • Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Discipline Professional 605-394-1722 or [email protected]
  • Dakota At Residence: 1-833-663-9673
  • The Dakota Backlink Assistive Engineering Mortgage Fund offers lower-desire, prolonged term loans to allow individuals with disabilities in South Dakota a financing selection specifically developed to order assistive technology products and products, property accessibility enhancements or auto accessibility modifications. For additional info, remember to check out:
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