You may be more than ready to retire, but what about your home? If you expect to grow old in your current home, it makes sense to prepare for the challenges that aging can bring. The environment in which you live will be an essential ingredient for the security and happiness of your retirement.
There are many changes that must be taken into account when updating a house so that it is friendly to the elderly. From bathroom accessories to kitchen amenities, you should do it right. In a perfect world, an older adult lives in a house on one level with an entrance without elevator or in a house with a lift that works. Most of us do not live in that perfect world but there are small things we can do to adapt our home. Let's see some:
How is the temperature? As we get older we become more sensitive to changes in temperature. It seems that the cold is a little colder than it used to be. And on hot days, the air conditioner turns on more often. Why suffer when today's modern conveniences can make our home much more comfortable with options like heated floors and remote-controlled fireplaces that heat the room to a perfect temperature at the touch of a button. Attention to detail such as quality insulation, thermal insulation and double-pane windows help to maintain the perfect environment.
Is your room where it should be? Having the master bedroom up may be fine when the knees are young. But as we get older, the stairs are not so fun anymore. Also, as we grow older we tend to sleep less and less deeply. The ideal is to move the room away from the most common source of noise, a good night's sleep is a luxury that we all appreciate and need.
Is your house safe? Safety is important when it comes to peace of mind. A well-visible alarm system with generously distributed signs and decals allows potential offenders to know in advance that the area is protected. Additional security is available with systems that include a panic button that alerts the right people when there is an emergency. It is a good investment to place locks and strong locks on all doors with access to the outside.
Are your handles and accessories age-friendly? One of the best investments is to replace interior door knobs for handles, improve lighting, so instead of fighting with a small switch, place large and flat switches. Similar improvements can be made when it comes to keys with levers that are easier to work with than the knobs. And the larger handles in the cabinets make life much easier.
Are you close to local points of interest? The physical location of your home is not something you can change. But it is useful to be close to the places we frequent, especially as we get older. A short drive or walk to the supermarket, restaurants and nearby parks can make your location ideal. Public transport can be a great help too.
By the way, the road to many houses has cracked sidewalks and uneven surfaces. This creates danger zones. Do not be afraid to ask to be fixed, making sure to change the entire slippery surface both on the outside and inside of your home.
Is your kitchen efficiently designed? We all spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and this is an essential place to do things well. The cupboards should not be so high that they require climbing on a stool to reach them. The drawers should not be so deep that you have to bend over to see what's in the holes in the back. Countertops should not be too high or low. Appliances configured according to the way you personally cook can be a great advantage. Good lighting is essential, in addition to ventilation.
And what about your bathroom? Safe and accessible toilets are not done alone. You will have to reform the bathroom to keep you safe when you are older. You can start by adding non-slip flooring throughout the bathroom and the shower area. Give your loved one a better grip. Placing grab bars in the shower (no bathtubs) and next to the toilet avoid falls and a folding seat or a bench in the shower will make you enjoy without fear of that moment.
Can you see where you're going? Good lighting makes sense. Even though you've lived in a house for decades, it's easy to misjudge the distance in low light and hurt yourself. Make sure the tickets are well lit. Opt for flood lights that detect movement at strategic outer corners to illuminate the road and help you find the lock without problems at night.
A well-designed and age-friendly home is not only a happier place, but also a safer place. Small improvements and additional efficiencies can make a big difference. If you make the right changes now, you are investing in your future happiness.