Aging in Place

Aging In Place Portland, Oregon

Shelter Solutions has successfully constructed numerous Portland, Oregon ADUs for seniors looking to "age in place", whether on their property or that of their adult children. This approach offers an outstanding means to provide personalized senior housing, ensuring security, privacy, and accessibility for future requirements. As Certified Portland, OR, Aging in Place Specialists, we strongly advocate for incorporating accessible and universal design principles whenever feasible. Through features like wide door openings, spacious bathrooms, accessible showers, and the installation of grab bars, we can readily accommodate any unique or future needs for aging loved ones.

Even if your current intention doesn't involve immediate aging in place use for your ADU, these spaces offer such versatility that they are likely to serve a multitude of purposes throughout your homeownership journey, including as a home office, guest accommodation, multi-generational living arrangement, rental income source, and eventual aging in place option.

In the charming cityscapes of Portland, Oregon, a growing trend is reshaping the future of home living for the aging population: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). These compact, efficient living spaces offer an innovative solution for those who wish to age in place. This article delves into how ADUs are becoming pivotal for seniors in Portland, ensuring comfort, safety, and independence in their golden years.

What is Aging in Place?

Aging in place refers to the concept of growing older in one's own home, in a familiar environment, rather than moving to specialized housing facilities. It's about creating a living space that adapts to changing needs, ensuring that seniors can maintain their independence and quality of life.

Why Choose Portland for Aging in Place?

Portland, Oregon, is renowned for its inclusive community, excellent healthcare facilities, and an environment that values the dignity and independence of its senior residents. The city's commitment to sustainable living and community support makes it an ideal choice for aging in place.

Understanding ADUs in Portland

An ADU, or Accessory Dwelling Unit, is a secondary housing unit on a single-family residential lot. These units can be detached, attached, or even a part of the primary residence, like a basement or over-the-garage apartment. ADUs have gained popularity in Portland due to their flexibility, affordability, and the city's supportive zoning laws.

The Benefits of ADUs for Seniors

Proximity to Family: ADUs allow seniors to live near their loved ones while maintaining privacy and independence.

Customizable for Accessibility: ADUs can be designed with accessibility in mind, incorporating features like step-free entrances, wider doorways, and walk-in showers.

Cost-Effective: Compared to senior living facilities, ADUs are a more affordable option for aging in place.

Familiar Environment: Living in a known neighborhood helps maintain social connections and a sense of community.

Steps to Building an ADU in Portland

Understanding Zoning Regulations: Portland's zoning regulations are ADU-friendly, but it's essential to understand the specifics like size limits and placement rules.

Designing Your ADU: Consider future mobility needs; include features like single-level living, easy-to-reach storage, and good lighting.

Finding a Contractor: Choose a contractor experienced in building ADUs and knowledgeable about aging-in-place design principles.

Budgeting: Factor in the costs of construction, utilities, and any future modifications for accessibility.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the average cost of building an ADU in Portland? The cost to build an ADU in Portland can vary greatly depending on the ADU size, design, and materials. Contact Shelter Solutions today for a free consultation to learn more about the cost of building a Portland ADU.

Are any grants or financial assistance available for seniors building an ADU in Portland? Yes, there are several programs and grants available for seniors, including property tax exemptions and potential subsidies for accessibility modifications.

Can I rent out my ADU in Portland? Yes, Portland allows ADUs to be rented out, which can be an additional source of income for seniors.

How long does it take to build an ADU in Portland? Typically, the construction of an ADU can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months, depending on the project's complexity.


In Portland, Oregon, building an ADU offers a practical and empowering solution for seniors choosing to age in place in Portland. With thoughtful planning and community support, ADUs can provide a safe, comfortable, and independent living environment, allowing seniors to enjoy their later years in the comfort of their own homes.

Check out some of our Portland Aging in Place ADU Projects!