When buying property, homeowners tend to be fairly young and they buy a house that will suit their lifestyle at that specific moment.
However, it is important to keep in mind that there’s a good chance you will probably live in that same house until you have reached your golden years (whether on your own or live-in with your children).
Recent data show that most people prefer to live in their own houses until the age of 81…
In other words, it might be necessary for you to make some adaptions and changes (perhaps call it senior proofing your home) so that aging at home turns into a smooth process.
Here are 6 renovation ideas to make aging at home a more comfortable situation:
Ease of access
Mobility becomes a problem for most senior citizens and this needs to be catered for in your home.
Whilst it is nearly impossible to buy a house without some form of stairs, it is easy to adapt.
Consider installing a ramp that grants access to the main level of your home. This way you can make it easier for those in wheelchairs, with walkers or with limited mobility to get to the house in a safe and stable way.
These added structures need to be drawn up by professionals so make sure you do your homework!
Head to the bar
No, not the one you’re thinking of – although it wouldn’t hurt!
We’re talking about grab bars, of course!
Grab bars are easy to install and they can prevent nasty falls and injuries.
They should be installed somewhere where the floor is often wet or where there is a transition to a different level of the house. Popular places to install them are in bathrooms in showers and baths, near toilets or staircases.
Make sure that these grab bars are installed correctly because if they are unstable they can pull away from the wall, resulting in injury.
Shower with power
The bathroom is generally not seen as a place of danger, but with slippery and wet floors, it can cause serious harm to those who are unable to move with ease.
Even if you have already installed those handy grab bars, your bathroom should be free of any type of obstacle that can cause tripping. A popular way to combat injuries in the bathroom is to transform it into a shower.
A big shower can support those who are unable to stand on their own and those who are bound to wheelchairs.
Get rid of bumpy thresholds
Many homes have thresholds that connect one part of the room to the other, creating that uneven little bump that we are all familiar with.
Whilst this is an everyday phenomenon to you, it is often the most common cause of injury inside a home to aging individuals.
These thresholds can be removed quite easily and without any hassle. If you don’t want to remove the threshold, but still want to make mobility in your home easier, you can consider installing a small ramp that leads from one room to another.
Re-plan the floorplan
This might sound like a huge job, but it is necessary for ease of mobility.
Wheelchairs cannot squeeze into tiny spaces, which is why an open floor plan is often the best solution.
You don’t necessarily have to knock down walls in order to do this, but you can move around some furniture and appliances to make things easier.
Widen the doorways
Wheelchairs also struggle to fit through normal doorframes.
It is easy to widen doorways and it should take a contractor about a day or so to sort this out for you.
Preparing for you old age might not be something you want to think about now, but you know the old adage: prevention is often better than cure!