Healthcare providers are finding that more and more seniors are interested in remodeling because they want to age in place. That is, to age in their homes. It’s more comfortable, it has memories, and it allows them to still live life, without being stuck in a nursing home.
If you or a loved one plan to age in place, you will need to add a few adjustments to the home in order to allow for; safety, comfort, health.
Senior-friendly remodeling should be done long before you need to use these advancements. This way you have a handle on what needs to be put in place, what repairs need to be done, and you can do so while you are still cognizant.
There are really 4 areas you need to focus on.
You need to be able to get around your home with ease. Whether this means walking on your own, using a cane, a walker or a wheelchair down the line. It’s preferable that you have a single story home.
If not, then a majority of the adjustments should be made on the first floor. bedrooms, for example, are easier to access if they are on the first floor and you don’t need to worry about steps.
- Easy and accessible paths from one room to another.
- Objects moved out of the way so you don’t trip.
- Clear turning space for the living room, bathroom, kitchen, and stairs.
- Non-glare, anti-slip carpets and surfaces – both inside and out.
Railing and Grips
The bathroom is one of the most important areas to focus on when it comes to your age in place remodeling. If you do not have a bathroom on the first floor, considering adding one. See a bathroom installation costs guide to get a good idea of what this will set you back.
- If you don’t have a first-floor bathroom, add a chairlift or an elevator to get from the first floor to the second floor
- Install railings and grips around places like the sink, tub, shower, and toilet. These will ensure that you have support. Falls are the #1 cause of injuries in seniors!
- There should also be a bench in the shower
- Slip-resistant flooring should also be placed in the bathroom – as well as the shower.
Senior Friendly Handles and Knobs
When we get older our hands tend to get weaker, add in the chance for arthritis and it becomes almost impossible to turn everyday doorknobs, open drawers and turn on/off bathroom faucets.
- Lever handles work really well for faucets, but you can also find pedal controller faucets too.
- Front loading washers and dryers
- Rocker light switches can be used instead of toggle switches – they use less pressure to turn the switches on and off.
- Looped handles for drawers and cabinets are easier to pull than rounded knobs.
Security and Safety
Make sure that if you or the senior has issues with seeing or hearing, that you add things throughout the home, such as visual cues. This can include:
- Light switches by every entranceway to a new room
- Audible, as well as visual notifications letting them know that; someone is ringing the bell, the telephone is ringing, the smoke detectors are going off, etc.
- The home should also be wired for security.
- Secure windows in place see popular window replacement brands
- The home should also be directly wired to the EMS, fire department, police and when possible, family members that are in close proximity to the senior.
Aging in place can be a really wonderful experience for seniors, but aging in place is different for everyone. Because of this, it’s important to hire someone such as a remodeler and a designer that can listen to your needs and create a modified home that really suits your needs and requirements.