The number of elderly people who stay in their homes is increasing. This trend is influenced by rising long-term care costs, as well as a rapidly growing senior population as a result of the Baby Boomer generation’s aging. Technology has come a long way, and new services like food delivery have made it easier for seniors to live on their own.
Many senior people have raised their families in their homes and now want to stay for as long as they can. Others opt to age in place since the costs of retirement communities, independent living, and assisted living are too expensive. Even though elders will not be able to keep their independence forever, they may be able to spend longer time in their homes by making them less harmful and more accommodating. Seniors may keep their independence while also lowering the expenses of senior housing by making alterations to their homes that support aging in place.
The experts’ tips on house modifications that help older people age in place are provided below.
Consider the following general style when it comes to aging in place remodeling.
- Enhanced Lighting. People require further lighting in their indoor spaces as they age. Some individuals have a more difficult time adapting to the abrupt transition from light to dark. You can install outlet covers with built-in nightlights. They direct everyone to the closest restroom in the middle of the night.
- Contrasting. If the surfaces of the stairs are the same, you may not be able to determine where one step finishes and the next starts. A lamp situated above the stairs casts shadows on the steps. Stairs with different colors or traction strips are two safer options.
- Upgrading Doorways. All entries, including internal doors that are at least 36 inches wide, should be wheelchair accessible. Levers are much easier for people of all ages, including small children and the elderly, to use than knobs.
- Adopting the Smart Home. Mobile phones, tablets, and PCs may control a wide range of devices. Some systems allow users to manage the temperature, lock doors, and modify the lighting. Some systems will sound an alert if the water heater springs a leak. Video doorbells allow people to see who is outside without having to open the door.
There are various dangers in the restroom. To begin with, the space may be insufficient to accommodate people who use wheelchairs, walkers, or scooters. Another issue to consider is the toilet’s height. Is it too low? Accidents may be reduced if the type is taller and easier to manipulate. Showers and baths each have their own set of issues. Wet and slippery flooring may make it difficult to enter or exit a facility, depending on your mobility. Bathing may be safer with anti-slip floors and grab bars.
It is necessary to step over a ledge into a typical tub, which might be difficult. Doors on walk-in baths often swing outward rather than inward. Enter the room, lock the door behind you, and begin filling the tub.
There are also drawbacks. Get into the tub before the water starts flowing, and then remain in the tub until the water has drained. That gives me chills. A warm bulb put above the bathtub might be useful. Flooding is another possible hazard. The weight of the water may likely push the door open, causing flood damage to your bathroom and any other neighboring rooms.
Climbing stairs is difficult for users who use canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. Even in a one-story house, there are usually some stairs or steps located somewhere, such as at the front door. A ramp may assist in overcoming a range of challenges.
Permanent ramps are much more stable than temporary ramps. The ramp should be usable by you, one or two other people, and a wheelchair.
A frequent plan is to arrange the living space on the ground floor and the bedrooms on the higher level. It’s feasible that you’ll meet visitors in the public areas while hiding the unsanitary areas. Stairs may be challenging to manage for those with limited mobility. The use of an elevator expedites and simplifies level transfers. Installing an elevator may be less costly in the long run than building a ground-floor master suite.
Surfaces and kitchen equipment in the kitchen may shift over time. Filling the dishwasher is one example of a potentially difficult task. Putting the dishwasher on a stand is a cost-effective solution. For those who value aesthetics, a drawer dishwasher is an option. A wheelchair user may be unable to reach kitchen counters or sinks. Reduce their height or provide seating in work areas. Maneuverability is also important. Many older homes lack accessible kitchens. If that doesn’t work, try a different configuration.
For 55+ households considering aging in place remodels, a complete approach that anticipates the modifications required to continue living freely is preferable. This allows the homeowner to make improvements as necessary while keeping the big picture in mind. A comprehensive plan is the most cost-effective aging in place remodeling option since it takes the home’s original design into account. It keeps jobs from being done twice, like installing and replacing cabinets when the size of a room or hallway changes.