- 1 - Bathroom
- 2 - Kitchen
- 3 - Stairs and hallways
- 4 - General security
While downsizing is an excellent way to cut costs when approaching retirement, it is understandable that some people simply don’t feel like it’s the right decision for them.
Whether you have many fond memories tying you to your house, or simply feel like your current living situation will work well in the future, there are still some things you should consider.
Planning for old age is best done in advance. For most people, it consists of identifying all possible future needs and making changes ahead of time.
When it comes to age-proofing your home, the most important thing you’re going to want to pay attention to is safety.
The work that needs to be done will greatly depend on the layout of your home, as well as your budget, but there are some general areas in which you should pay special care:
1 – Bathroom
One of the first places you’re going to want to look at is your bathroom. If you already have a walk-in shower, the changes you’re going to have to make are minimal. But, if that’s not the case, you might find that you’ll need to make a bigger investment in this room.
According to statistics, more than one-third of bathroom injuries happen in the tub or in the shower. This goes to show that fall prevention is the number one safety issue you’re going to want to focus on.
Luckily, it can be relatively simple:
- Install grab bars in your shower, tub, and near your toilet
- Make sure that floor surfaces are dry, so as to prevent slipping
- Consider a walk-in tub that combines comfort with accessibility
- Add slip-resistant mats to shower or tub floors
- Include an emergency alert system in this high-risk area
2 – Kitchen
Similarly to the bathroom, your kitchen can also be a risky area inside the home. This is not only due to the presence of water, but even more, sharp tools, difficult-to-reach cabinets, and hobs that may cause burn injuries.
A number of people may find that this is the room that’s going to
Here’s what you can do:
- Ensure that your counters are accessible – for some people, this may require lowering them
- Consider installing an induction hob that can prevent burns
- Storage spaces should be within reach
- Invest in a lever-handed faucet for easier control
- Place small home appliances on countertops or other easy-to-reach surfaces
3 – Stairs and hallways
Most seniors dread stairs, and with good reason – they are, more often than not, a safety hazard, but, if you own a multi-level house, you can still make it functional and safe.
The key, again, is to predict your future needs and make sure they’re met.
When it comes to stairs and hallways, there are a few changes you should consider making:
- Remove any clutter, including rugs you may trip over
- Add slip-resistant tape on stairs
- Install lighting to ensure visibility at night (motion sensors are an excellent solution)
- Ensure your handrails are sturdy enough to hold your weight
4 – General security
Of course, in addition to the accident hotspots we’ve talked about, there are other areas of your home you should consider renovating.
These pertain to overall security, but also keep in mind challenges that might come up in the future:
- Widen doorways to allow for access with wheelchairs or walkers
- Consider installing a lift to make stairs easier on those with mobility issues
- Consider relocating your master bedroom to the ground floor
- Add grips to hold all carpets in place
- Install a security system to protect yourself from burglars
- Think about future-proofing your home with smart devices including lighting, entertainment, electricity outlets, and safety-oriented products
For a great number of people, renovating is an excellent option, as long as it’s done right.
If you’re considering renovations overselling, then the best way to go forward is to hire an architect/designer who understands your needs and a contractor who is able to deliver on all crucial points.
You might just find that adapting your existing house can be much more comfortable than purchasing a new one and making it into something that fits your individual requirements.
After all, it’s likely that you’ve lived in your current home for several years or even decades. If it is a place that makes you happy, you definitely shouldn’t have to give it up.