We all look forward to long lives where we eventually ride out into the sunset of retirement and enjoy a well-earned break. However, aging comes with its fair share of challenges such as ailments or physical limitations. Going up a flight of stairs, reaching high storage areas, or bending to collect items, for instance, can be strenuous or near impossible.
Subsequently, it is always a good idea to try and make some changes in your home to accommodate the changes in your life. On the other hand, if your senior years are still far ahead, this type of change may be worth considering for instances when you will need to host elderly loved ones.
Here are a few effective yet simple ideas on how to get that done.
Improve the Accessibility of Different Spaces
Most homes are designed with standard-size doors and entryways. This can become a hindrance for a senior person using a walker, a wheelchair, or any other support devices because they may not comfortably get through narrow spaces.
Widening your entryways can make movement a lot easier in such cases. More so for shared spaces like the main entrance, the kitchen, the bathroom, as well as the living room and dining areas. Where possible, it may also not hurt to consider leaving out doors entirely and embracing an open-plan living style.
Additionally, steps or stairs can be tough to navigate for anyone that requires supported movement. They are also a leading cause of slip and fall accidents which can be life-changing for an elderly person. Consider either replacing or complimenting them with ramps. This applies to areas outside the home like the main entrance and inside the home too if you have steps serving as a transition from one room to another.
Make Your Kitchen More Accommodating
Getting older should not rob you or anyone else of the ability to whip up a sumptuous meal or even a simple sandwich. However, you can only do that if appliances, countertops, supplies, and utensils are reachable.
Strive to have all these essentials at an accessible height; they should not be too high to reach or too low that one has to bend too much to reach them. If you are worried that this will reduce your storage space, consider solutions like pull-out shelves that allow you to store more items in compact spaces.
Try to also maintain adequate space between workstations, appliances, and islands so that the kitchen is easy to navigate. Other small touches like good lighting, lever-style handles on taps, or cabinets that are easy to open and shut equally go a long way toward making a kitchen more accommodating for all.
Of course, the dimensions, placements, and design preferences that you will require to implement these ideas vary based on your needs and the design of your home. Fortunately, most top modern kitchen makers provide customization services that can help you get fixtures that meet your exact needs.
Make Safer and More Comfortable Bathrooms
Bathroom accidents are a leading cause of fractures, dislocations, and concussions, among other injuries. This is mostly because most surfaces get wet and slippery when we use bathrooms.
Therefore, it is imperative to invest in non-slip flooring and support bars at convenient points to minimize the possibility of falls. You can also:
- Install non-slip seating and support bars in showers
- Install bathroom vanities and storage solutions at accessible heights
- Aim for a clutter-free roomy bathroom design for easy access
- Invest in walk-in showers compared to the more cumbersome and unsafe bathroom and tub designs
As you make these changes, remember to check your plumbing to ensure that it is in good condition and can support the design changes you are making. Quality water pipes and valves, in particular, are quite essential as they control the delivery and pressure levels of your water supply.
All technological advancements are made with the goal of making work and living easier. Adding smart tech solutions can, therefore, make your home infinitely safer and easier to manage. It can come in handy in areas such as:
- Security e.g. motion detection cameras, smart doorbells, alarms, etc.
- Automated help; voice-activated home features that allow you to adjust the temperature or lighting in your home or summon help can make living far easier and more comfortable.
- Safety; smart appliances that can turn themselves off or send reminders to your mobile device can help prevent accidents like fires or mishaps like burnt meals.
The loss of independence or the inability to handle tasks that you used to easily handle before can make aging depressing. Making these and other suitable changes allows you to avoid that and live your life to the fullest even when dealing with physical or health changes.