Safety, comfort and ease of maintenance are the main priorities to consider when desiring to remain in the home as we age. Not all modifications require big money or structural changes. Some of the smaller changes can sometimes add up the the most important changes that will make the biggest differences when choosing to age in place.
There are some little things that can be adapted or used when modifying the home for Aging In Place to increase safety. Some examples include:
- An addition of anti-scald sensors installed on the faucets.
- Place anti-slip mats in places where there is a possibility of slipping.
- Adding higher wattage bulbs in task areas to increase lighting.
- Having grab bars added to the bathroom walls by the toilets and in the shower, even if they are not currently needed, they are a good investment and come in handy even as towel racks.
When preparing a home to stay in, consider a few smaller renovations that will make the home more comfortable and functional for many years to come.
- Consider having your kitchen cabinets mounted just three inches lower than the normal 15” height making it easier to reach to contents. The average person shrinks over their lifetime.
- Consider having the dishwasher raised so it can be loaded without having to bend over.
- Always think about long term maintenance and upkeep when updating finishes.
- Make sure the hallways are at least three feet wide, if not wider.
- Doorways should be three feet wide too.
- Don’t use all one color in decorating schemes – as our eyes age, it is harder to distinguish between different surfaces so use contrasting colors.
- If possible, locate the master bedroom, bathroom and laundry on the first floor for easy accessibility.
When updating appliances and looking to the future, consider energy efficient appliances that have the energy star label and consider easy care finishes.
- Remember stainless steel appliances may look pretty but they show finger prints at the slightest touch.
- When looking at refrigerators consider the new french door types with the freezer on the bottom in a drawer and the top being easy reach at waist level.
- Consider a range that has controls on the front so that they are easily accessible.
The above is just a short list of things that can help when looking to remain in the home for years to come. After all, comfort and safety should be on everyone’s list for a home to actually live in.
I would love to hear your comments and answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me. Take care.