As a homeowner, you’ll think about what you’ll do with your home once you grow older. Many think the only option is to sell the house and move into a residential home or similar. While that is an option, you can also consider aging in place. What is it, how do you do it, and what are the aging in place benefits?
Aging in Place Benefits and Perks
Firstly, what is aging in place? It’s the act of adapting your home now, so when you get older, you’ll already have the adaptions you need to safely live at home, with less help from others. Many are looking into this now as they don’t want to sell their home once they need some help with day-to-day living.
It’s the home you worked so hard to buy, and you’ve brought up your children in it. You don’t want to sell it on, so you can adapt it for your golden years. It’s also a great option as it’s the one with the least upheaval. You won’t need to move out to an entirely new place. You’ll be able to stay in the home you’re familiar with, and many they’ll have lived in that home for decades.
You’ll also be able to keep your pets, something that many assisted living facilities can’t accommodate. Finally, aging in place is excellent for many people as it allows them to be as independent as possible while still having the safety that these accommodations can give you. You’ll still be able to live in a way that suits you rather than by someone else’s rules.
5 Ways to Adapt Your Home for Aging in Place
If you’ve decided that aging in place is for you, you’ll need to consider how you’ll adapt and improve your home to fit your needs. The best way to do this is to consider your current medical needs and what they may require of you in the future. You can talk to a doctor to help you consider what needs you’ll have as you grow older too.
These needs will dictate exactly what changes you make to your home for your retirement years, but there are some changes you can make that will be very helpful. Here are some of the best changes you can make for aging in place.
1. Make Your Bathroom Safer
As you grow older, bathing can be more dangerous due to hard, slippery surfaces. Typically that would require you to get assistance with bathing, but if you want to be able to bathe by yourself, you can make changes to make that happen. This is the top change you should make to your home.
One of the best things to do is add grab bars around your bathroom where you’ll need them most. That will be around the bathtub, toilet, and so on. If you have a walk-in shower, adjust it, so it’s zero entry, eliminating any trip hazards. Changing the flooring out for a non-slip option will help a lot, as well.
2. Eliminate Steps Where Possible
For some people, steps will become harder to manage as they age. You can make things easier by eliminating them wherever possible in your home. Outside your home, for example, you’ll want to change out any steps for ramps. That’s going to be especially helpful if you’re using mobility aids. Inside your home, if you have stairs, you can make them safer to use.
Change the flooring to a non-slip material, and consider adding a second handrail to them for ease of use. Depending on your needs, you may want to look at adding a chair life too. If you don’t need that, add a chair at the top and bottom of the stairs, as these are good for steadying yourself after the ascent or descent.
3. Improve Your Lighting
As you get older, you’ll need better lighting in your home to see. That’s important for your safety when you’re living independently. Luckily, updating your lighting is quite simple, so it’s as good as possible. Add lighting to areas where you’ll need it.
That includes on your stairs, in hallways, and in areas where you’ll need it for tasks. That includes your kitchen and bathroom. You may also want to consider where you’ll put your light switches. Those using mobility aids may need the switches to be lowered down on the wall. Also, consider adding light switches next to the bed, so you don’t have to get out of bed to put the light on.
4. Install Smart Appliances
Smart appliances are becoming more ubiquitous in our homes these days and are highly useful for aging in place. When picking out smart appliances, consider how they can help you get older. Home automation is very helpful, too, as it allows you to set timers for lights, security, and so on.
For example, smart ovens will beep when they turn on, which helps you remember if you’ve left it on or not. You can invest in smart doorbells with cameras, which will help you see who’s at the door and talk to them, too, if needed. That will give you a lot of peace of mind.
5. Relocate Your Bedroom
Finally, consider moving your bedroom to the first floor. That will prevent you from climbing the night stairs to bed. If there’s ever a time when you won’t be able to negotiate the stairs, then you’ll be ready to move to the downstairs bedroom.
For now, it could easily be a guest room. These are just some of the ways you can adapt your home to enjoy the aging in place benefits. It’s pretty simple to do and allows you to stay in your home for much longer.
These are some of the most common aging in place benefits and improvements. Now, you have a better understanding of aging in place benefits and how they can improve your home. If you need more assistance, feel free to contact a quality aging in place service.