If you are building a new home or renovating your current one, then have you thought about the older you? While you may be able to jump from step to step and reach the cupboards with ease, this may not always be the case.
It’s inevitable that one day we will all get old, and will need a little help. Why not prepare early and start to think about the little things that can make a huge difference in the future. I’ve been to recently built homes and noticed lower light switches. The owners explained their reasoning for this – in case they may need a wheelchair one day. I instantly thought would a great idea.
There are a number of changes you can make to your home to become elderly friendly.
Plan your entryways
Do you have a deep doorstep outside your front door? Think about adding smaller steps or even a ramp. Instead of a manual garage, purchase an auto garage system so all you have to do is press a button to enter.
Unfortunately as we get older, if we fall it can take a lot longer to recover. Reduce the risk of slipping by installing non-slip flooring (especially in the bathroom) and secure any rugs.
These can be the biggest challenge. If moving in to a bungalow isn’t an option then think about adding easy to hold banisters or handles up the stairs. You can also invest in a chair lift in the future that will take you from top to bottom and vice versa.
Make everything easy to reach. Handles to help you in and out of the bath/shower, a raised toilet so you do not need to bend as far and, if you need, a step-in shower/bath.
When you redesign your shelving and/or closets, think about making them adjustable for the future. It is handy to know that everything can be lowered.
By Sarah Hoy