Adapting Your Home: How to Safely and Comfortably Age in Place
As we grow older, our needs and abilities change, and our homes may not always be the most accommodating to these changes. However, with a few simple modifications, it’s possible to adapt your home to suit your needs, allowing you to continue living at home safely and comfortably, longer!
Here are some tips for adapting your home for seniors:
- Install Grab Bars and Handrails
Installing grab bars and handrails throughout the home is an important safety measure. These bars provide additional support and stability, particularly in areas such as the bathroom and stairways. Grab bars should be installed next to the toilet, in the shower, and next to the bathtub.
- Modify the Bathroom
The bathroom can be a particularly hazardous area for seniors. Some modifications you can make include installing a walk-in shower with a built-in seat and non-slip flooring. You can also install a raised toilet seat and a grab bar next to the toilet. A handheld showerhead can also make it easier to bathe.
- Improve Lighting
Good lighting is essential for seniors, particularly those with vision problems. You can improve lighting by installing brighter bulbs and adding additional light fixtures. Motion-sensor lights are also a great option, particularly for nighttime trips to the bathroom.
- Remove Tripping Hazards
Tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter can be particularly hazardous for seniors. Make sure to remove any items that could cause someone to trip or fall. You can also consider installing slip-resistant flooring throughout the home.
- Adjust the Height of Appliances and Fixtures
Lowering the height of kitchen counters and cabinets can make them more accessible for seniors who use wheelchairs or mobility aids. Light switches and thermostats can also be lowered to make them more accessible.
- Install a Stairlift
If your home has multiple levels, a stairlift can provide a safe and easy way to move between floors. This can be particularly helpful for seniors who have trouble climbing stairs.
- Consider a Ramp
If your home has steps leading up to the front door, consider installing a ramp to make it more accessible for those with mobility issues. Ramps can also be installed in other areas of the home, such as the garage.
- Make Sure Doors and Hallways are Wide Enough
As we age, we may require the use of mobility aids such as walkers or wheelchairs. Make sure that doors and hallways are wide enough to accommodate these devices. Doorways should be at least 32 inches wide, and hallways should be at least 36 inches wide.
- Consider Smart Home Technology
Smart home technology can make it easier for seniors to navigate their home. Voice-controlled assistants and motion-sensor lights can make it easier to turn lights on and off, adjust the thermostat, and even make phone calls.
Adapting your home for seniors is an important step in ensuring that they can continue to live independently and safely for longer. If you are considering making modifications to your home, it is important to work with a professional who has experience in aging-in-place design. A professional can help you identify potential hazards in the home and recommend modifications that will help seniors stay safe.
At Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, we understand the importance of finding the right home to suit your needs at any stage of life. Our team of experienced real estate professionals can guide you through the process of finding the perfect home, and can provide advice on the best ways to adapt your current home to suit your changing needs.
So whether you’re looking for a new home, or need help modifying your existing home, our team is here to help!