When you become a senior, it’s easy to think that everything can stay the same at home. After all, you’ve probably lived there a long time and love the way your home is set up, and you don’t want to live in a senior citizen’s center. While it’s true some elders are super active and don’t need any special accommodations, others develop physical impairments, making it difficult to even perform activities of daily living.
So, when it comes to choosing which age in place upgrades, deciding which are useful and which are a waste of money can be difficult. Since everyone ages differently, it’s important to only make upgrades you know you’re going to use or ones that’ll be useful if you ever sell your home. Below are five age in place upgrades, both permanent and temporary, you should consider making in your home.
Ramps or Railways
As we get older, we sometime lose our balance. As such, there may come a time when you fall and require the use of crutches or wheelchair during recovery. Ramps and temporary railways can make recovery less painful. Temporary ramps can be rented on as needed basis and be make more aesthetically pleasing by planting shrubs or blooming flowers around them. Handrails, or railways, are not different. If you need extra support on a temporary basis, you can also rent these as well and return them once you recover.
Whether you are recovering from an injury or develop arthritis and can’t climb the stairs like you used to, installing a life is a good idea. There are spacious home lifts available that are large enough to hold more than one person or medical devices you may need as time goes on. If you decide to sell your home, installing one can also boost the resale value of your home as well.
Slippery tubs and bathroom floors are dangerous no matter how old you are. However, as you get older, your reflexes and balance might not remain the same. That’s why it’s a good idea to redo your bathrooms to make them as safe as possible. You can use non-slip grout, add grab bars in the shower and near the toilet, and install voice-activated shower controls.
Safer storage should also be on your upgrade list. Instead of having to use a step stool, which can lead to falls, you can install additional storage at eye level or under the cabinets. You can also invest in storage units and devices that hook into the cabinet door. Pull out drawers also improve accessibility in both kitchen and bath. If your bedroom closet is big enough, you can install them there, too. If you’re handy around the house, consider adding accessible storage in the garage as well.
Visual acuity can also decline as you get older, so adding LED lights can also make your home a safer place. These are relatively low-cost option that not’s only visually appealing but can also prevent unnecessary accidents. Voice or sound activated lighting is another option to consider. Instead of fumbling for the light switch, you can turn the lights on and off with voice command or by clapping your hands.