You will have different needs as you get older. A house that was safe for you in your thirties and forties might not be so safe for you in your seventies and eighties. If you’re planning to “age in place,” you need to think about making some specific home renovations.
Unfortunately, your home probably doesn’t have many senior-friendly features. The majority of houses and apartment units being built right now do not make accessibility a priority. Older constructions present even more difficulties with narrow doorways, steep staircases and cramped bathrooms. It would be an incredible stroke of luck to live in a space that would require no renovations or improvements whatsoever.
There is one exception to this. One place that will have senior-friendly features built-in to their apartment units is a senior home. Take a look at a senior home like All Seniors Care— it has wide hallways, accessible bathrooms, safety rails and more to guarantee that every resident feels accommodated.
The building’s construction and design aren’t the only things that make this home accessible. Residents can also sign up for dining services, laundry services, housekeeping and specialized care options. These services can make day-to-day life a lot easier.
If you’re worried about ageing in place, you can move into a senior home that’s prepared to address your needs in the present and future. If you’re still hoping to stay right where you are, you should take a look at these crucial renovations that you need to safely age in place:
Remove Falling Hazards
The first things that you have to address are the tripping and falling hazards around the house. This should be your top priority because tripping/falling is the leading cause of hospitalizations for seniors in the country. Trips and falls in the home can lead to injuries like hip fractures and concussions. Sometimes, falls can be fatal. Don’t underestimate this danger in your household.
How Can You Reduce the Risk?
- Renovate staircases so that they are wide and have secure handrails on both sides. Add non-slip stair treads. You may need to install a chairlift in the future.
- Install accessible walk-in showers/tubs in the bathroom. Add safety grab rails near the toilet, tub and shower.
- Instead of using decorative throw rugs and floor mats, install wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Correct uneven floor transitions. Any unexpected raises or drops could be tripping hazards.
Consider Joint Pain
You could develop arthritis or other conditions that cause joint pain when you get older. Here are some renovations that will accommodate this problem:
- Move cupboards, shelves and other storage units lower so that they’re easily within reach.
- Replace doorknobs with levers.
- Replace sink taps with levers. Or get touchless faucets that use motion sensors to turn the water on.
- Look at the best flooring options for seniors — these won’t be so hard on your joints, especially when you’re standing for a long period of time.
Improve the Lighting
Your vision tends to get poorer with age, so you need to think about the natural and electrical lighting in your home. Shuffling around in dim lighting isn’t pleasant or safe. You can change this by installing more light fixtures in rooms and upgrading your windows to styles that let in more sunlight, like bay windows.
You might feel like planning these renovations is unnecessary, but you’ll be thankful that you had the foresight to go through with them when you’re older. You’re not helping yourself now. You’re helping yourself later.