If you keep living in your home as you enter old age, it is crucial to ensure that your home is designed with you and your lifestyle in mind. Many seniors prefer to live in their homes rather than in assisted living. Before you take that leap, be sure to learn more about Medicare and assisted living, so you’re fully prepared for that transition. However, while you are still living in your home, taking precautions to avoid accidents and make your life easier is crucial to maintaining your independence as you grow older.
Here are six important changes you can make to your home to prepare for old age.
Bathrooms are the most dangerous room in the house, regardless of age. Slippery surfaces, tricky fixtures, and the presence of water make the bathroom the number one location for accidents in the home.
Some measures you can take to make your bathroom safer are:
- Slip-prevention floorings like non-skid mats and anti-slip strips
- Grab bars near the toilet and in the shower
- Handheld adjustable shower heads
- Seats or benches in showers
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Avoid ceramic tile
- Raised toilet seat
- Walk-in bathtubs
- Open shelving
Assessing and eliminating risks in the bathroom is a great way to make your home safer and ready for old age.
Clear up clutter
Having a home full of unnecessary items can make it difficult to access things when needed, and many unused items will take up unnecessary space in your home. Try to clear up space by throwing those items away, giving them out, or putting things in storage. Decluttering will make your area look more open and make your space safer. The fewer moveable items in your home, the less chance items have to fall, break, or be tripped over.
If you live in a two-story home, you may want to consider moving all of your necessary rooms downstairs. If possible, having your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room downstairs will significantly help reduce accidents and the risk of falling. Having all your living spaces on the ground floor is also much more convenient and eliminates the need to carry items up the stairs.
Keeping your home well-lit is another way to reduce the risk of accidents as you age. Being able to see clearly can remove many variables as you move throughout your home, and a well-lit environment is better for your eyesight as you age. Consider replacing your incandescent bulbs with LEDs, which can last up to 14 years without needing to be changed, reducing the need to get up on a ladder and change a lightbulb.
If you currently have or plan to get a wheelchair, it will be beneficial to have ramps installed at the main entrance to your home and anywhere there is a step up or down inside your home. Installing ramps can help to reduce risks when using a wheelchair or walker.
Simplify the kitchen
One last room in your home where you may want to make modifications as you age is the kitchen. Drawers and pull-out shelving are popular because they make it easier to see the items you need before accessing them. Also, replacing round knobs with handles that are easier to grasp can add additional ease in the kitchen.
Making your home ready for old age is all about accessibility and making it easier for you to live your life as normal as possible while reducing the risk of falls and accidents. Making a few small changes can greatly increase your quality of life in your home as you age and foster your independence and confidence as well.