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Nowadays, seniors choose to remain in their homes as they get older. This is all thanks to the rising expenses of long-term care, coupled with an aging population that is far more active and energetic compared to the previous generations. Many elderly people had also raised their families for decades in their houses and wish to stay there as long as possible. Thankfully, it is becoming easier for the elderly to remain in their own homes due to the advances in technology. However, it might not be possible for them to stay in their own house for the rest of their lives. Luckily, many modifications can make their homes safer and more functional. Here are some of the best home modifications for aging in place.
For those with mobility challenges, installing grab bars or railings in high-risk places like restrooms and bedrooms provides additional support and reduces the danger of a fall. Because slippery surfaces like the toilet and the shower/bathtub need hold bars, consider installing them there as well. If your loved one has difficulty getting in and out of bed, you may want to consider installing bars next to their bed. Install your grab bar into wall studs, not simply sheetrock, and be sure it can support up to 250 pounds. These bars aren’t costly but are among the necessary modifications for aging in place.
Even floors are one of the most necessary home modifications for aging in place
Ensure that all of the floors in your home are at the same elevation. Smoother transitions between flooring surfaces should be the goal. It’s also important to consider the foundation of the home when remodeling floors, as an uneven foundation might be a big problem. Because transitions like saddles or thresholds can pose a tripping hazard, you want to keep them to a minimum. Older people tend to slouch and not lift their feet as much as they used to. It’s best to keep the height difference between rooms as low as possible while making room transitions. You may want to consider removing saddles at the doors if you have hardwood flooring with saddles.
Medical alert modifications are a must
Having a medical alert system in place is one of the most important things you can do for yourself as you become older. Elderly people who are at risk of falling can have these devices track their whereabouts and alert pre-selected contacts and emergency personnel in case of an incident. There are smartphone apps for these alarm systems, and there are also wearable gadgets like bracelets and necklaces. Wearable designs are commonly connected to a home base that may be mounted on a wall or positioned on a flat surface. With specific models, the wearer can communicate directly with their emergency contact, while others ring the home base when you click a button. However, if your elderly loved ones still feel that staying in the home is too dangerous, they might decide to move. We believe that you will want to do everything to help with relocating elderly parents and grandparents. It’s your job, as well as your pleasure, to help them with the transition the best you can. Moving is harder for older adults than it is for younger people, so keep that in mind.
Aging people need more light
Enhancing your home’s lighting is one of the essential home modifications for aging in place. Switching out light bulbs can be dangerous. The less time and effort it takes to find replacements for the best results, the better. Switching to LED bulbs is a simple and inexpensive way to improve the energy efficiency of your house. You can use the occasion of a house remodel to switch out your lightbulbs for LED ones easily. LEDs are known for their long-lasting nature. LEDs can last for up to 50,000 hours in some cases. To put it another way, this is 50 times longer than a standard incandescent light and 20-25 times longer than an average Halogen light bulb. A 50,000 bulb can survive more than 11 years if used for 12 hours a day. At 8 hours a day, it’ll last 17 years with everyday use!
A smart home for aging in place
Amazon Echo and Google Home are perfect for the casual user who needs assistance with automated lighting, reminders for medication and appointments, access to your media, calling your friends, and easy ordering of groceries and household supplies as they run out. Alexa-enabled smart doorbells can also be installed at your front door and provide many features, such as video monitoring. A smartphone app connects these gadgets to your phone, allowing you to adjust the settings. Smart lighting is a great way to increase your sense of self-reliance. Cordless wall-mounted lights may be purchased for as little as a few dollars each, and there are a variety of systems available that give scheduled lighting that you can set up with your smartphone’s Alexa or Google Home apps.
Faucet replacements are a good modification
For folks with arthritis or grip concerns, touchless faucets on kitchen and bathroom sinks are a godsend. You can replace twist faucet handles with levers. By choosing a nice lever, you can make your bathroom look luxurious and safe! Another popular upgrade is to install anti-scald faucets in your parent’s tub or shower. When the cold water is momentarily redirected to flush the toilet or fill the washing machine, anti-scald faucets avoid abrupt bursts of hot water. This is one of the essential home modifications for aging in place, as we don’t want our elderly parents to get burns.
Don’t forget about the exterior
Homes for the elderly should have at least one no-step entry. Installing a detachable ramp instead of the stairway to make entering and exiting the home easier is also a great idea. To avoid tripping or falling, make sure that walkways and stairs are well lit.
We hope our guide has provided you with ideas about the best home modifications for aging in place. Everybody deserves a safe and enjoyable retirement, so make sure your home can give you just that. Happy remodeling!
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