Preparing to age in your home

Posted by Steve Harmer on Thursday, April 25th, 2019 at 12:14pm.

Kamloops SeniorsFollow This Simple Recipe to Safely Age in Place

Written by Karen Weeks for Kamloops Property For Sale.

Most of us want to remain in our homes throughout our senior years. Thankfully, there are often simple home modifications to help turn that goal into reality. Here are some key ingredients in creating or finding an appropriate home for aging in place.

Older and Better

As the general population ages, the housing market is working to keep up, and many people are choosing to remain in their homes throughout our golden years.

In order to realize that goal, many people are making their homes more accessible to accommodate the changes minds and bodies experience with age. Some people are referring to the trend as “aging in place,” some call it “universal design,” and some prefer “life-long living design.” The end result is essentially the same, with homes that meet the needs of those who dwell in them throughout their lives, come what may. The Seattle Times points out seniors are driving home modification trends in anticipation of future needs, with homeowners making their properties easier to navigate and easier to maintain.

Easy Adaptations

Why choose a RealtorSome of the modifications to help you remain in your home throughout your senior years are simple and inexpensive, yet they can greatly reduce your potential for injury. Swapping out traditional round door knobs for lever-style handles, and also replacing faucet knobs with levers, can help prevent scalding if dexterity or mobility becomes limited. Safety rails and grab bars help seniors maintain balance on steps and in bathrooms, and raised toilet heights are easier to navigate. Adding offset hinges is a simple and inexpensive way to widen doorways, a must for many if using a wheelchair or walker becomes necessary. Rehanging bathroom doors so they open out instead of into the room is another way to accommodate assistive devices.

Additionally, adding non-slip strips and a seat for bathing in tubs and shower areas helps avoid falls. Installing a wheelchair ramp to create at least one step-free entrance makes it easier to maneuver with packages, let alone a wheelchair or walker. HuffPost recommends adding lighting throughout the home as an inexpensive remedy when vision or perception wanes.

Advanced Modifications

Age in your homeDepending on your situation, you might elect to make more significant transformations to your home. For instance, threshold-free shower stalls can accommodate wheelchairs, and widening hallways allow people using assistive devices to navigate more freely. Home entryways can be regraded and steps removed for a stairless entry instead of installing a ramp, and door frames can be physically restructured to accommodate wheelchairs. Another idea is to install pocket doors, which look attractive and add accessibility. Experts cited by The New York Times suggest altering countertop height in kitchens to allow for food prep in a seated position.

Probably the biggest and most important modification you could make is single-floor living. By creating an environment that allows you to live on your ground floor, including your kitchen, bedroom, bath and laundry, you avoid navigating stairs. Otherwise, a lift or elevator could become necessary, depending on your mobility.

Purchase Accessibility

Sometimes making modifications to your home isn’t a practical solution. You can easily search for accessible homes for sale in your area thanks to online search filters. You can create a list of your top priorities in your house-hunting search, or use a home accessibility checklist to help find what you’re looking for.

Recipe for Success!

A home environment that keeps you independent and safe during your golden years can provide peace of mind. Follow the list of ingredients to ensure you remain comfortable. You can cook up a wonderful quality of life in your own home, now and in the future!

© - Written by Karen Weeks for Kamloops Property For Sale

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