Safe And Independent Living: Tips To Ensure Age-Friendly Home Renovations

Safe And Independent Living: Tips To Ensure Age-Friendly Home Renovations

If senior citizens are living in a house, it is necessary to ensure that they can continue to do so safely. Home renovations play a significant role in achieving this goal. Homeowners of any age would benefit from including age-friendly design elements in new renovation projects.

If you have any senior citizens living at your house, you should make the necessary changes as soon as possible to ensure a safe living space for them. Let’s take a look at tips for age-friendly home renovations that ensures safe and independent living.

1. Make a Thorough Evaluation

Before starting any home renovation, take a good look at the current living space. This evaluation should find any possible dangers and areas that need to be fixed to make the home safer for older people.

Take note of things like steps, narrow halls, and uneven floors that can be dangerous for older people who have trouble moving around. Think about where important rooms like bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens will go and make sure they are easy to get to.

2. Improve Accessibility

Accessibility is the most important part of home improvements for older people. Consider making the parts of the house the elderlies need access to on one floor to eliminate the need for stairs.

Stairs can be a big problem for older people. If you can’t live in a home with only one level, adding stairlifts or ramps can help.

Widen doorways and halls to make room for wheelchairs, walkers, and other aids. The standard opening width may be too small for easy movement, so making it wider can make it much easier to get through.

3. Upgrade The Kitchen 

You can make several changes in the kitchen to make it easier for older people to use. The most important ones are:

Install Two Sinks

Put in a second washbasin with a sprayer that can be pulled out near the stove. This is a convenient way to fill a saucepan with water. 

Select Appliances That Are Age-Friendly

Stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators should all be rethought with safety in mind. Consider the needs of people with a wide range of mobility and strength, and place appliances where they require the least amount of reaching or lifting. Putting a microwave above the stove is a classic case of not thinking forward.

Make Size Variations in Countertops

Everyone in the house can find a comfortable working height at the kitchen counter. It’s great for kids, tall people, or anyone who would rather not stand while cooking.

Add More Storage

Make it possible to store things without having to physically move them. Add extras like pull-out drawers or trays to make the space more functional.

4. Fix the Stairway

Stairs are particularly risky for the elderly. Especially if their home has more than one floor, to make their living safe, follow these tips:

Install Outlets At Convenient Places

Put an outlet at the bottom or at the top of the stairways. So that if you eventually decide to install a lift chair, you won’t have to resort to using an unsafe and aesthetically offensive extension cord to power it. 

Doing regular household chores such as vacuuming is made much easier if there is an electrical outlet next to the stairwell.

Automate the Power System

Generally, there are power outlets at the beginning or bottom of the staircase. But there are times when we do not want to reach for them. Installing an automated power system comes in handy here. All you need is to go near the staircase, and it will be lit automatically.

Extend The Space Outwards

The standard width for a home’s staircase is 36 inches. But if your renovation calls for a whole new one, 42 inches would be ideal. 

The extra space allows for two individuals to use the staircase side by side or, if necessary, a lift chair. Moving furniture is made much easier by a staircase that isn’t as narrow.

5. Upgrade the Bathroom

A safe bathroom is essential in an age-friendly house. Slips and falls can be prevented by making the bathroom upgraded. To make it convenient for older people, follow these steps:

Work on the Doors

When someone needs help getting around or uses a mobility device, the most common problem is finding a bathroom with accessible doors. It’s not always preferable to have a restroom door that swings inward. A pocket door, however, may be the optimal choice in other cases.

Get Rid of That Curb

The shower is one of the most dangerous places in the house for elderly people. Because of the wet floor and slippery walls, it is dangerous for everyone who has trouble with balance and movement.

Incorporating a shower into the bathroom’s layout can greatly enhance the lives of its users, mostly the elderly. 

Install Grab Bars

Put in the grip bars even if you have to obstruct the walls. Everyone, regardless of age, may use an extra handhold in the bathroom.

Remove Cabinets

To make place for knees, you’ll need to empty the cupboards from beneath the sink in the bathroom. Would you be able to use the washbasin if you needed a seat? If not, a wall-mounted washbasin or a detachable cabinet may be the answer.

6. Secure The Flooring

The most obvious risk while on your feet is from slippery floors. It is important to prevent falls on any floor, so non-skid mats should be placed under rug areas, or the rugs themselves should be removed. 

Thresholds and other potential tripping hazards should be removed or lowered wherever practicable. Adding low-pile carpeting is the safest option for people who use walkers since the walker won’t get caught in the deep pile and risk a fall. 

You should also look around on the ground at different levels. That the difficulty has increased or decreased, or at what stage disruption is possible.

There shouldn’t be any blind spots or barriers. Floors should be able to be raised to a comfortable height. Preferably one that allows for the use of walking sticks without difficulty for the elderly.

7. Improve The Lighting

For seniors to live in a safe and comfortable place, there must be enough lights. Accidents usually take place in dark areas. So make sure there is enough light all over the house. Put bright LED lights on stairs, hallways, and other places. 

Put motion-activated lights in places like bathrooms and closets. You can also install nightlights in the bedroom, hallway, and bathroom to keep people from tripping and falling at night. 

8. Install Smart Appliances

Transforming your house into a smart home can increase the safety and convenience for senior citizens. Smart home devices can handle lights and thermostats. These can also be security systems without you having to touch any switches or buttons.

Medical alert systems that can sense falls and automatically call for help are also helpful for seniors who live alone. Both seniors and their loved ones can rest easy with these tools. 

9. Seek Professional Help

Renovations that make a home easier for older people to use take thought and know-how. It is a good idea to talk to people who are experts in aging-in-place planning and remodeling. 

They can give helpful advice and make a plan that fits the needs of the older person and makes sure that all safety concerns are taken into account.

Bottom Line

Age-friendly home renovations are important for safe living. 

With our safe and independent living: tips to ensure age-friendly home renovations, you now know what to change if you want to make your home more age-friendly. 

So, incorporate these age-friendly tips into your home renovation and make the senior citizens feel safe and independent.

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