In 2018, the AARP conducted a survey that showed that 75% of people entering retirement plan to stay in their current home for as long as they can. Since most people purchase homes when they’re young and don’t consider limitations they may face when they get older, most homes will need some modifications in order to be successfully accommodate the golden years. But just what changes should be made in order for a person to be able to enjoy their home as long as possible? Take a look at these seven design tips for aging in place.
1. Incorporate More Light into Your Home
Did you know that something as simple as adding more light to your home can make it safer as you age? Since your vision is likely to worsen as you get older, it’s important to keep your home as well lit as possible to avoid accidents, like slipping and falling. Adding lighting to your home doesn’t mean that you have to make your space uncomfortably bright; you can get creative and choose stylish light fixtures that complement your taste.
2. Keep Kitchen Necessities at Waist Height
Having your microwave mounted below your cabinets may be a great way to save counter space, but keeping your microwave in this position could become dangerous as get older. In a similar vein, having to reach up to grab hot food items can result in injuries and accidents. Opt for a countertop microwave and make sure all of your other kitchen necessities are at waist height for easy access.
3. Install Shower Rails in the Bathroom
Falling in the bathroom is one of the top causes of injury among the elderly. A lot of these accidents could be prevented by making a few upgrades to the space. According to House Method, installing grab rails is a great way to make your bathroom safer and more accessible as you age. These bars will make it safer to enter and exit your bathtub and are much cheaper than completely renovating your bathroom and installing a walk-in shower. You may even want to install handrails in your bedroom to make getting in and out of bed easier as well.
4. Move Your Bedroom to the First Floor
That beautiful staircase you loved when you first purchased your home could eventually become your biggest enemy. The older you get, the less safe stairs become. If possible, move your bedroom to the first floor to avoid having to constantly go up and down the stairs.
5. Remove All Rugs
Throw rugs may be an attractive accessory, but they can also be very dangerous. These rugs can become a fall hazzard because they’re very easy to trip over. This is especially true for people who use canes or walkers to get around. If you insist on keeping rugs in your house, make sure they have non-slip pads underneath to lessen the chance of an injury.
6. Remove Clutter
When your home is full of clutter, it can be difficult to move around safely. As you age, you’ll want to make sure all of the walkways and living areas in your home are clear and easy to navigate. Donating items you no longer have a use for is a great way to clear some clutter.
7. Utilize Smart Technology
Over the last several years, smart technology has become increasingly popular for its ability to make homes more efficient. Smart technology can allow you to control things in your home like lights, locks, and temperature without having to get up and walk around. With the help of the design tips above, you can allow yourself to age gracefully in your current home and enjoy your space for years to come.
This guest post was graciously contributed by Kaytie Pascale.