What does aging in place remodeling involve? Here’s the latest guide to help you get started.
Have you been thinking about aging in place remodeling? Even if retirement is way out on the horizon for you, it’s worth thinking about how you’ll adapt your home for when you get older now. That allows you to stay at home for as long as possible, ensuring that you can enjoy your home rather than moving into an assisted living facility.
Here’s your guide to changing your home so it’s ready for aging in place, and you won’t have anything to worry about as you get older.
This is one of the most important places to look at first, as it offers the most risks for people as they get older. You can make a few key changes though, and be ready to mitigate those risks.
Make your tub or shower accessible: Consider that it may be more difficult for you to get into the tub or shower as you get older, so you’ll need to make it more accessible. This can mean either installing a walk-in bathtub, or a walk-in shower with no lip on the bottom of it.
Add grab rails: These are important around your bathroom, as they’ll help you maneuver around safely. Add them near the toilets and bath and shower entrances.
Change flooring out for nonslip options: In a wet area, you’ll need flooring that reduces the risk of falls. Change out the bathroom flooring for nonslip options like rubber, or add nonslip mats to make it safer.
Add in water safety controls: The danger of scalding is high in the bathroom, so you’ll want a way to mitigate that. Try using an anti-scalding valve on water heaters and faucets, and they’ll help keep you safe.
Good lighting is essential as you get older, especially if you start experiencing problems with your eyesight. There are several small changes you can make that will make your home safer as you get older when it comes to lighting.
Place guide lights: Guide lights are those that are designed to activate, in case the power goes out. These can be as simple as small lights that are just affixed to the walls and run on batteries. Have them along the bottom of the wall, so you can see where you’re going in a blackout.
Update your lighting controls: Think about what you’ll need from your lighting controls as you age. They should be at an easy height to reach, especially from a seated position. Adding extra lighting controls in areas such as next to the bed will be useful, too.
Security will always be a concern in any home, but making updates now will make you feel safer at home as you grow older.
Plan an escape route: You may already have an escape plan in case of fire or another disaster, but think about what you’ll do when you’re older. People over 65 are twice as likely to be killed in a fire, as they won’t be able to escape as easily. Plan out a different escape route, one that’s easily accessible.
Add in alarm systems: There will be some alarm systems you should have in place already, such as smoke, CO2, and burglar alarms. Take care of these systems and check them regularly, to make sure they’re still working correctly. Ensure that they can be maintained without having to climb ladders or other structures, to stay safe.
The electrics in your home need to be in top condition. If you update the systems now, they should be able to withstand regular use as time goes on, and reduce the risk of fire or shocks.
Update your home’s capacity: The way we use tech has changed drastically in the last decade. Many homes’ wiring systems, breaker boxes, and main electrical boxes are not equipped to cope. You can update these systems to be in line with modern standards, so they can be ready to take on anything in the future.
Invest in a backup system: In the future, you may need to use electrical devices such as oxygen tanks and so on. You’ll need to have reliable access to power in order to use these. If you’re worried about blackouts, consider having a generator installed. This will kick in if you do have a blackout, keeping everything powered.
Add extra outlets: Overloaded power outlets are the cause of 12% of house fires every year, and it’s something you want to avoid. That’s especially true if you’ll be using more electrical devices as time goes on. Have extra outlets added in your home to avoid using extension cords, if possible. If you do need to use them, avoid overloading them to prevent fires.
Your stairways can become more of a danger as time goes on. You can make some changes though, to ensure that you stay safe.
Add a stairlift if needed: If a stairlift will be useful in the near future, it may be a good idea to have one installed now. Then, you’ll be ready to use it should you need it.
Add nonslip surfaces: All stair surfaces need to be nonslip, to reduce slips and falls. You can change out your flooring if you wish, or you can add stick-on traction pads to the stairs. That’s an inexpensive way of changing the floor and making it safer.
Update the handrails: If there isn’t already a handrail, add a secure handrail along the entire length of the stairs.
Eliminate stair lips: A stair lip is where the stair top extends over the riser. These are highly likely to cause trips and falls, so they need to be taken out wherever possible.
This is a very basic guide to updating your home to make it better for aging in place. Making these changes will make it safer and easier to stay home, and will also improve your quality of life now. Start making the changes now so you’re ready for the future.