As we get older, we see that we’re not as strong or flexible as we used to be. Sometimes our homes don’t have room for the wheelchairs and walkers that become necessary in older age. For these reasons, it’s common for aging individuals to move into retirement communities that are thoughtfully equipped for limited mobility. Many of us, however, want to continue to live in our own homes as we age.
For those of us that want to continue to live in our own homes, even as we lose some of our mobility, there are many easy to perform renovations that make life significantly more comfortable for senior citizens. Consider having some of these renovations done to your home before they’re vitally needed. Installing some of these renovations 3-5 years before you will actually use them will save you time, effort, and money. It will also help guarantee that the upgrades are available when they become necessary.
Below, we’ve made a list of renovations that make life easier for senior citizens:
Lever Handles on Doors
Aging can sometimes reduce your grip strength and finger dexterity. Individuals with severe arthritis might also have trouble gripping or controlling small objects, or they might prefer to avoid doing so when possible. Replacing knob handles with lever handles is a cheap and easy renovation that makes life easier for individuals that struggle with gripping door knobs. It might seem unnecessary to some, but for others, it can make living in your own home much more comfortable.
For individuals that might have to rely on wheelchairs or walkers, widening doorways is an excellent way to maintain easy access to the entirety of your home. The cost associated with widening doorways can vary depending on the set-up of your home, and the contractor being hired, but for some seniors, it’s a necessary expense.
For individuals that need access to place while being in their wheelchair, a ramp is an obvious must-have renovation. Even if you’re not wheelchair bound, adding a ramp to the entrance of your home can save you the extra effort of walking up and over steps. If your movement is limited by arthritis or another ailment that’s common in old age, it might be more comfortable to walk up a ramp on days you’re feeling particularly stiff or sore.
Move Amenities to First Floor
In some households, many of the amenities (such as bathroom, bedrooms, and showers) are located on the second floor. For some older individuals, climbing up and down stairs to have access to your bedroom can be incredibly exhausting.
It is wise to start moving essential elements of your life down to the first floor. If your master bedroom is on the second floor, consider using a smaller bedroom that’s down on the first floor. If there are no bathrooms on the first floor, definitely consider having one installed so that you don’t have to make a trip up and down stairs to get to the shower, bath or toilet.
These can be cheap and easy additions to any room in a home and are especially useful in areas where you might be prone to slip. The elderly can benefit from having grab bars installed. At the very least, install them in the showers and bathtubs.
These tubs vary in price and fall into a wide price range between $2,500 and $10,000. They’re not the cheapest renovation. However, for individuals that struggle with climbing in and out of their bathtub, this might be a necessary addition to the home.
If you’re living in a two-story home, especially if you’re going to need semi-regular access to the second floor, a stairlift can be a necessary addition for a senior-friendly abode. We highly recommend them for any individual that might be concerned with going up or down the stairs. Like all the renovations on this list, the lift can help provide a feeling of comfort and mobility in your own home.
By -home-monitoring systems- we’re referring to a wide range of renovations that can be designed to help you, and your family, monitor your home. This might include security cameras, medical alert solutions, and burglar systems. These technologies are designed to improve your visibility around your home and help give you peace of mind. Also, some medical alert systems include wearable buttons as well as household sensors. Medical alert systems can be essential for helping you worry less, especially if you’re living alone. They also help your family feel connected to you as well.
Home Upgrades as we Age
Owning and living in a home is all about having personal security and comfort. The greatest perk of owning your own home is that you have complete control to customize your surroundings. For those of us that are becoming older, this means that we can make renovations to make senior living more accessible and safer. don’t wait until you’re in desperate need of help. Begin installing senior living renovations before any life changes happen so that they’re already there when you actually need them.
Contact us to find out if we can help!