These days, most the seniors prefer to live in then own home rather than in some senior facilities. With increasing lifespan and healthier habits, more seniors can enjoy their golden years in the comfort of their home. Still, even for seniors that can manage on their own and have no need for assistance, the home that isn’t adapt properly can be a big obstacle. There are some easy changes and home improvement ideas for seniors that can increase their comfort and allow them to be more independent for a longer period of time.
Why is important to implement home improvement ideas for seniors?
Safety is the first and crucial reason to think about home improvement ideas for seniors. In the USA, approximately one-third of the total senior population lives alone. Statistic says that one in three of that group will have a nasty fall each year, usually in their own home. While special moving assistance options for seniors are usually necessary, making the home more comfortable and safer for senior require only easy, small and cheap changes that you can do yourself.
Since traditional homes are designed for adults, they are usually not elderly-friendly. That means that most common housing options are suitable for less than 15 percent of our population. Many seniors live in environments that have many obstacles, that are difficult to manage, or even unsafe. Even the fittest seniors have troubles with some activities and certain movements, so improving your home to fit the older age is very recommendable.
Fortunately, there are several home improvement ideas for seniors to make the homes more safe and efficient for retirees. We can’t reverse the aging process, so it’s best to prepare for it in advance. If you are not in the position to do some major home improvements that will save you money in the long run, there are very affordable solutions to making your home senior-friendly.
Bathroom home improvement ideas for seniors
The bathroom is the riskiest room in the house, for every age group. Since the bathroom surfaces are very slippery, the highest number of home injuries and falls happens in this space. For seniors with more fragile bones, those accidents can be very serious and even lethal. Securing the bathroom in a senior home and making it safer isn’t a big choir, and it will pay off immensely. You can even combine the tips for a beautiful bathroom, with a few improvements that will make it safe for the seniors.
Here are some bathroom home improvement ideas for seniors that you should consider implementing:
- Installing grab bars near the toilet and in the shower/bathtub
- Putting a non-skid latex mat inside and outside the shower/bathtub
- Consider installing a walk-in shower unit or a tub seat, if necessary.
- Make storage space for toiletries, first aid supplies, and other bathroom necessities at waist level, to limit bending, stooping or stretching.
- Prevent burns by setting the thermostat on the water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees.
Kitchen home improvement ideas for seniors
The changes in the kitchen are also a necessity for the more comfortable senior home living.
This home improvement tips will make your kitchen safer and accessible for seniors:
- Raise the dishwasher so that you don’t have to bend and risk back injuries when loading and unloading it.
- Higher cabinets that are harder to reach replace with lower shelving or drawers
- Move sinks closer to the stove
- Place the microwave and other smaller appliances at counter height, so that you can reach them without bending or stretching your body.
- If you have enough room, think about installing a pullout pantry.
- Make sure that the floor surfaces in the kitchen aren’t slippery.
Home improvement ideas for seniors for other rooms
While the bathroom and kitchen are the rooms that hide many potential dangers, the rest of the house will also need some small changes.
Bring some light into your home
The dark home is a dangerous home. The sharp edges and fragile objects are lurking behind every corner, just luring you to pump into them. If your home has low visual conditions, there is a bigger chance that you will have an accident. Proper lighting is the key to avoiding them. Maybe you’re not the fan of the ceiling chandeliers, but they are the great solution. You don’t even have to light them when you are in the room, but it’s important that they exist. Especially if you are getting up several times at night. It’s much easier to turn on the switch on the entrance of the room than to walk around in the dark searching for the lamp switch. Installing motion-detecting night lights for extra illumination is also a great idea. Just find an expert electrician and make your home brighter.
Make sure that rugs don’t slip
Slippery rugs are accidents waiting to happen. Smooth surfaces that enables rug to slip are very hazardous. Investing in the anti-slip rugs won’t cost a lot, and it will make your home much safer for seniors. If you love your current rugs and don’t want to replace them, use caulk or grip tape to make them slippery.
Remove unnecessary furniture
The more furniture that you accumulate in your home, the more obstacles there will be. Furniture pieces are usually bulky, and take a lot of space. The overly-furnished house not only looks smaller, but it also feels smaller. That can make you feel trap in your own home. By clearing the unnecessary furniture and decluttering your home altogether, you will feel more relaxed in it. The bigger open space gives filling of liberty and the room to breathe. By decluttering your home from the things that you no longer need, you will be also decluttering your mind. Not to mention that removing furniture pieces will remove the obstacles that can be very threatening to seniors.