As Americans live longer than ever, some will find it difficult to stay in their beloved homes: Steep stairs or a slippery shower can pose dangers, and standard houses are not wheelchair accessible.

As Americans live longer than ever, some will find it difficult to stay in their beloved homes: Steep stairs or a slippery shower can pose dangers, and standard houses are not wheelchair accessible.

With 78 million baby boomers about to hit retirement age, some say the time is ripe to overhaul the way homes are designed.

It's a common problem — and an expensive one. Making a home accessible can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Imagine building a house when you're young that you can live in as you age.

Interactive: Tour of a home designed to be accessible to all.

Boomers need to plan ahead and buy a home with universal design now or use it for that kitchen renovation. But here's the problem: No one ever thinks they'll need such accommodations.

"And no matter what decade they are in, they believe that old is the next decade. And if you're even in your 80s, old is in your 90s."

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