Aging is a part of life, but some of us don’t age as gracefully as others. And though this can be a hard pill to swallow for some of us, the fact remains that as we age we have to take measures to ensure our comfort and safety.
For many who enter retirement, aging in place is often the preferred method for going forward in life. But some of us aren’t so fortunate.
For example, some will develop impairments or physical disabilities that require specific care. As such, many elderly people find themselves relying on assisted living, or having to spend the rest of their lives in a nursing home. And the latter option isn’t always looked upon as the most favorable, due to cases of elderly neglect in nursing homes today: even with advocacy groups making the facts known, it can be hard to know your older adult is going to a safe place.
But if you’re able to age in place, taking measures such as home renovations that will enable you to live more safely and comfortably is a strategy that you might want to consider.
Making Your Home Wheelchair Accessible
No matter if you’re fully able to get around, considering making your home more wheelchair-friendly might be something that you want to consider. And this will be especially helpful in the event that you find yourself wheelchair-bound or having to use a walker.
One of the first areas that you’ll want to address is doorways or areas where stairs are present. As such, a wheelchair or a walker will be difficult (or otherwise impossible) to maneuver around stairs.
Removing stairs and installing ramps with a gentle incline will be the best strategy for home renovations when considering aging in place. In this case, you may want to call on a contractor who specializes in building wheelchair-accessible ramps.
Removing and Widening Walls
In the event that you find yourself with limited mobility, living in a home with several dividing walls or partitions may prove difficult to navigate around. If this is the case, you may consider having some walls removed or widening your doorways or pathways.
If you’re fortunate enough to have an open floor plan, you may not need to remove any walls. But depending on the layout of your home, this is something that should be taken into consideration.
For example, many older homes have smaller doorways, and these may not offer access for a standard wheelchair let alone larger models. In order to solve this problem, widening your door frame may be the best renovation strategy.
Additionally, hallways may also need to be considered when widening your space. As such, hiring a competent home renovation contractor can help you decide on what strategy is best to widen your space to make it more convenient for limited mobility.
As we age, slips and falls become much more common. In fact, studies suggest that after age 65 you may experience at least one slip and fall every year due to a decline in balance and coordination.
In order to mitigate any instances of falling or slipping, adding railing to areas of the home where you may be more prone to a slip or fall will be a sound strategy going forward.
Areas to consider when placing railings are in hallways, around corners, near doors or anywhere with steps involved, and even in the shower and bathrooms where the floor could be slippery.
Railing not only provides you with additional support, but it’s also one of the least expensive home renovation projects that you can do to make your home more safe and comfortable for aging in place.
Aging in place requires a bit of strategy and planning. And the more proactive you are in implementing safety features when you still have a bit of youth will enable you to live much safer in your home.
Remember, your comfort plays a huge role in your overall health when you get older. And the renovations mentioned above can help you to achieve this level of comfort.