Baby Boomers are changing yet another aspect of society – the rate of demand for multifamily housing and how those dwellings are designed.

Almost all of the net increase in multifamily residency from 2000-2013 was driven by people in their 50s and 60s, according to a report from Jordan Rappaport, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Renters 65 and older will reach 12.2 million by 2030 according to the Urban Institute in Washington D.C., which is more than double the 2010 level.

As a result, designing and/or furnishing for this demographic needs to be a priority, especially in the heart of the home – the kitchen.

Whirlpool Corporation understands that many Boomers are comfortable with the idea of “aging in place,” but they don’t want to make it obvious. That’s why usability through universal design is a guiding principle, allowing a home for 55-year-olds to be very similar to one for 75-year-olds, and adaptable to their changing needs.

Universal design is 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, as described by Ron Mace, founder of The Center for Universal Design.

With a wide variety of appliance choices, Whirlpool Corporation makes it easy for developers to plan for consumer needs for usability. For example, Whirlpool Corporation appliances have:

  • Better illumination inside appliances, including the LED lighting in the Jenn-Air® 42-Inch Built-In French Door Refrigerator. Lights are located throughout the interior, minimizing shadows and reflecting against the black finish to dramatically display ingredients.
  • Features to help opening and closing, including the Whirlpool brand 30-inch, 5-Burner Gas Cooktop with EZ-2-Lift™ Hinged Cast-Iron Grates, which stay upright to make cleaning the gas cooktop and the grates easier than ever, and refrigerators that feature soft-close drawers.
  • Connected appliances such as the latest Jenn-Air® 30” Connected Wall Ovens, which feature wireless connectivity and a fully functioning application for IOS and Android devices. The app gives users control of the oven’s functions and performance from their smartphones and tablets.*

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*Requires Wifi and account creation. App features and functionality subject to change. Subject to Terms of Service available at Data rates may apply.