Preparing Your Home for Aging in Place

Aging is not a process we enjoy, but it is a fact that we must accept and adapt to it. Aging in place means that we have to prepare the home for our future needs. This adapting process will allow older people to remain independent, autonomous and in charge of their own life.

We can correctly guess that a great majority of people would like to age in their homes. In America, as many as 94% of adults ages 65+ wish to stay in their homes as long as possible. This group, as of 2010, accounted for 13% of the population (40 million people), and that number is projected to increase to 20% of the population by 2030.

There are numerous benefits to home-based aging: increased life satisfaction, quality of life and self-esteem as studies show. Some extra benefits that contribute to the quality of life are the fact that can keep their close friends and neighbors, keep the same doctors and visit the same coffee shops and grocery stores.

The appropriate renovations should be made a long time in advance, so you have the time to get used to them. In this article, we are going to propose you some basic changes you could make to make your life easier.

Basic Renovations

The Lighting

An inexpensive solution will be to improve the lighting in the home. This process will provide an increased sense of safety and security for the elderly, safeguarding against stumbling and falling, as well as break-ins. Some extra measures you could take are the lighting stripes added to the stairways and other dark areas you have in your home, but also installing exterior lights you can program to turn on and off. Keep some nightlights close to you, these are a great solution for hallways, bathrooms and other dark corners.

Flooring renovation for aging in place

As you get older, you should think about the falls and how you could improve the flooring so you stay safe. Loose rugs, slip-inducing mats, and curly edges on carpets are among the most common dangers. This kind of measures are easy to make and not that expensive. Some of the basic flooring renovation:

  • Use double-faced, anti-slippery rugs thorough the home. Use bathmats with a good, surface-gripping backing in the bathroom.
  • Use anti-slippery flooring, some of this can include vinyl, ceramic tiles and bamboo.
  • Improve your home’s visibility. To provide better visual guidance, especially in transitional areas in the home, such as a sunken living room, consider varying the colors and textures of the flooring used throughout the home to provide better visual guidance.

Advanced Home Renovations

Widen your doorways: Even just carrying packages can make doorways impassable, so imagine providing adequate space for assistive devices like wheelchairs. Doorways should be at least 36 inches wide in order to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility standards.

Add a stairlift: Many people need to navigate stairs in the home excepting the case in which you’re enjoying single-story living (or unless you have a downstairs bedroom and bath. In these cases, stairlifts are a great tool.

People ages 65+ are twice as likely to be injured or killed by house fires, compared to the rest of the population according to the National Fire Protection Association, so you should think about investing in security systems as well.

Remember it is important to start renovating in advance to adapt to your future needs.

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