According to the National Institute on Aging, 90% of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age. And why wouldn’t they? There’s comfort in the familiar, after all. But as you age, your homes need to grow and change with us to accommodate our needs. Here are a few home renovation tips for seniors who want to age in place successfully.
Bathroom Renovations for Seniors
The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house when it comes to accommodating seniors. After all, this is where you start and end your days. Some key bathroom renovation ideas for seniors include:
- Installing grab bars near the toilet and in the shower or tub. Grab bars provide stability and support, which can be crucial for seniors who are unsteady on their feet.
- Adding a walk-in shower. Step-in showers can be difficult for seniors with mobility issues. A walk-in shower eliminates this problem and also provides built-in safety features like grab bars, slip-resistant flooring, and a seat.
- Raising the height of your toilet. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can be extremely helpful for seniors who have difficulty getting up from a standard-height toilet. There are a few different ways to do this, so be sure to consult with a professional before making any changes.
- Installing hands-free faucets and fixtures. With hands-free fixtures, you don’t have to worry about turning knobs or handles, which can be difficult for those with arthritis or other dexterity issues.
Bedroom Renovations for Seniors
The bedroom is another important room to consider when renovating for aging in place. Some ideas to keep in mind include the following:
- Lowering your bed. This may seem counterintuitive, but lowering your bed can actually make it easier to get in and out of. If you have a mattress that’s too high off the ground, you may struggle to get up each morning (or after a nap). Lowering your bed will also make it easier to reach items that are stored underneath. Just be sure not to lower it so much that you have trouble getting in and out!
- Installing adjustable lighting. As you age, your eyesight changes, and you may need more light than you used to see clearly. Adding adjustable lighting fixtures will allow you to customize your light level based on your needs at any given time.
- Making doorways wider. Wider doorways make it easier for seniors who use mobility devices like walkers or wheelchairs to move around freely inside their homes. If you’re planning on widening doorways, be sure to consult with a professional first so that you don’t unintentionally weaken load-bearing walls!
Kitchen Renovations for Seniors
The kitchen is another room where small changes can make a big difference when renovating for aging in place. Some ideas include:
- Installing pullout shelves and drawers. Pullout shelves and drawers make it easier to reach items that are stored inside cabinets—no more having to stand on tiptoe or dig around blindly! They also make it easy to see everything that’s stored inside so that you can easily find what you’re looking for without emptying everything out onto the countertops first.
- Adding task lighting. Undercabinet task lighting is ideal for illuminating countertops so that you can see what you’re doing while cooking or cleaning. It’s also helpful for those with vision impairments.
- Switching out hardware. Knobs and handles can be difficult for those with arthritis or other dexterity issues. Installing larger or lever-style handles makes it easier to open doors and drawers without grasping small knobs.
- Installing an induction cooktop, An induction cooktop uses magnetic fields instead of direct heat, making it safer than traditional gas or electric cooktops. They also tend to generate less heat, making them ideal for warmer climates.
How to Make the Life of Seniors More Comfortable
Apart from home renovations, there are also some simple steps you can take to make the life of seniors more comfortable. These include:
- Regularly checking on their overall well-being and safety. This may involve checking in on them regularly, offering to assist with daily tasks like grocery shopping or home maintenance, or helping them connect with home health aides if necessary.
- Hiring a home health aide to assist with tasks like bathing, dressing, and medication management. These professionals can provide both physical and emotional support for seniors.
- Making sure emergency numbers are easily accessible. This includes not just 911 but also important contacts like family members or neighbors.
- Providing access to transportation and helping them stay socially active. Seniors may have difficulty driving or using public transportation, so offering to drive them places or assist with finding alternative options can go a long way in allowing them to maintain their independence and social connections.
There you go! By implementing some of these renovation ideas and taking steps to support seniors’ well-being, you can help them age in place comfortably and safely.