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How to Improve Your Home as You Age
Your home was perfect for you when you first bought it but is it perfect now? Will it be in a few years’ time? As you get older, you will need to change your home and living-space to guarantee that it meets all of your needs and that it doesn’t become more harmful than helpful.
What’s Wrong with Your Home?
Most houses were not built with ageing in mind. Homeowners may not realize this flaw with their own houses until they get older and encounter obstacles like steep staircases, narrow doorways, and high cabinets. Suddenly, these simple features of the house become daily annoyances — or worse, dangers. The leading cause for senior hospitalization is injury from falling — these can often lead to serious complications like pneumonia. A single slip on a bathroom floor or tumble down the stairs could mean months of painful recovery.
So, what can you do? You can renovate your home to make it accessible and safe as you get older. Or, you can move into an elderly home that encourages age in place retirement living with buildings and private suites that are designed to be comfortable, secure, and completely senior-friendly. It’s a long-term care option that allows you to mold your living space whenever your needs change. The home can give you more assistance and amenities as you get older and need more care.
What Should You Renovate?
If you have the money and the space to renovate, these are some of the things that you can fix so that your home is senior-friendly.
You’re going to want to install more light fixtures around the house. Your eyesight will likely get worse as you age, and you’re going to want every room to be well-lit. Think about using smart lighting technology that lets you turn the switch off, switch on, or dim the lights with a command. That will save you from walking across the room every time you forget to flip a switch.
Handrails and Safety Bars
As you can see, slipping is a major hazard. You will want to have handrails beside every staircase so that you can have a safe grip every time you walk up or down those steps. Bathrooms should have safety bars by the toilet, tub, and shower.
You will want to remove tripping hazards like rugs, doormats, extension cords, uneven floor transitions, and more out of your way. Try to keep the floor as bare as possible. Consider replacing rough surfaces like ceramic with cork or carpeting — these materials are easier on the joints and will be less painful in case you fall.
Account for Mobility Aids
You may need to use a wheelchair, a walker, or cane to get around in the future. If that’s the case, you’ll want to have an accessible outdoor ramp leading into the front entrance. You will want wide doorways and clear hallways so that you can pass through without any obstructions. You may need to increase the space in your kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom for better accessibility. If you have a second or third floor, you should get stairlifts installed.
It will be a lot of work. But, when these renovations are all finished, you can rest assured that your house will be your home sweet home for the rest of your life.