Aging in Place – Best Home Renovations for Seniors

Home Renovations for Seniors: The Complete Guide

As we begin to age, we start looking at things from a different perspective, a wiser set of eyes.

It seems as though every decision we make is governed by what is more comfortable and practical, rather than flashy or fun. We are less spontaneous, and instead more thoughtful with our choices.

Nowadays, we base them more on what is easier for us, rather than on how other people perceive us. From the cars we drive to the clothes we wear to the food we eat, we place more emphasis on sensibility than charisma when it comes to the quality of life.

Aging in place renovations

The same is true about our homes and the way we adapt them to our needs as we age. Typical desires for a thirty-year-old will generally differ from those of a sixty-year-old. Not to mention the needs of a person of any age who has a physical limitation.

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners with reliable general contractors, we talk to seniors all the time about remodeling – here are some things to consider when aging in place.

1) Accessibility

2) Reachability

3) Assistance

4) Safety

Aging in place

Accessibility

Making your home easier to navigate is crucial, not only for you but for family members or professionals to assist you.

If you are doing a major renovation, try locating all necessary rooms on the first-level floor. The bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, and main living area should all be accessible without the need to climb stairs.

You may want to consider putting in a small laundry room on the main level as well. The less you have to navigate stairs, the better.

If you are doing a major renovation, try locating all necessary rooms on the first-level floor.

Also give thought to broadening the doorways by a few inches, to a more ‘wheelchair-friendly’ 36-inch opening. Another good idea is to switch from doorknobs to door handles, as they are much easier to grasp.

No one knows what the future holds for older people like us, but it’s nice to be prepared for whatever may occur.

Aging in Place - Best Home Renovations for Seniors 1

Reachability

As we get older, we sometimes battle against our homes to get through our daily routines. Tasks that we used to do without any resistance, suddenly become an obstacle in the flow of our day. Thus, it’s smart to plan for these instances when planning renovations for seniors.
Aging in place reachability
Try having your designer plan for lower countertop heights. This will make it easier for you to reach items at the back of the counter, and working at the sink will be more comfortable as well. This will also allow for your wall cabinets to be a bit lower, giving you better reachability to the items within.

Assistance

Upon returning home after back surgery, I found that the most painful thing to do was also quite embarrassing.

I’ll admit it: one of the hardest things to do after back surgery is sitting down on the toilet.

I realized that if I had planned better, it would have been a good idea to install grab bars before the surgery!

Aging in Place

Now that I have them, they are great! Grab bars and handrails give you that extra little bit of help you need, particularly when you don’t really want a person assisting you. For that matter, they would also come in quite handy near your bed, or near your seat in the living area. I’d personally say that grab bars are essential for anyone aging in place.

Sometimes, you just can’t do it by yourself – now you won’t have to.

Safety

Safety is the most essential element to plan for when aging in place.

It’s undeniable – unsteadiness is simply a byproduct of aging. As you are planning a home renovation, don’t let your newly designed home work against you.

To prevent falls, try carpeting as much of the floor as possible, or opt for some type of non-slip rubber flooring tiles. Unsteadiness and a slick floor are a recipe for disaster – may as well plan ahead and limit risks wherever you can.

Safety is the most essential element to plan for when aging in place.

On the topic of safety, I would also suggest installing a walk-in shower or tub. They have made wonderful strides with these units, and they look as nice as the basic tubs and enclosures. Depending on the model, they even have seats in them for added safety.

At times when you aren’t feeling quite as mobile as you usual, hurdling the tub apron can be a daunting task. Just eliminate it and trade it for a nifty door!

Final Notes

Identifying your specific needs is the most important factor when it comes to home renovations for seniors.

When planning a renovation to accommodate aging in place, identify tasks that are the most difficult on a day to day basis. Perhaps even keep a “notes for the remodel” journal to record your ideas as you design your new home.

Aging in place renovation notes

If there is a daily task you shudder at the thought of because it is hard, dangerous, or outright impossible, write it down. By the time you are ready to hire a contractor, you’ll be completely prepared with all your needs and wants.

Aging is just another verse in the song of life. Rather than being intimidated by your new physical limitations, meet the challenge head on- through wiser eyes. Be a finesse player rather than a power player, brains over brawn, and you can make your golden years as simple and enjoyable as your youth.

Your home is an extension of you. If you choose to age in place, make your home work for you by following these tips for renovations for seniors.

When you’re ready to get your project started, GreatBuildz is here to help every step of the way.


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