As the baby boomer generation ages into retirement, the elderly inhabit nearly every neighborhood in America. These are places they have lived their whole lives. They have seen neighborhoods evolve, made lifelong friends, and put a lot of memories in their homes. It is not surprising they don’t want to leave.
According to a recent AARP survey, 73-percent of people over 45 plan to retire in their current residence as opposed to a nursing home or other institution. Forty-one percent plan to stay in their homes until age 81 or older. This is not an impossible feat, but there are home improvements you should consider making to your home so that you can comfortably age in place.
In order to get lasting use from your floors, consider attributes that will be safer when you cannot walk as surely as you once did. Floors with a high gloss finish are hazards for unsteady feet, potentially causing falls. Update flooring to safe, low-pile carpets or hard surfaces that flow from room to room, creating flush transitions without stumbling blocks.
Small Changes to Prevent Falls
USNews.com suggest, “Remove throw rugs, especially in the bathroom; install grab bars and grips in the bathroom; assure sturdy handrails on both sides at steps; provide lighting and switching especially at stairs, halls, and entries; and secure or remove carpets at stairs.” Another way to prevent falls is to have all your needs accessible on the main floor of your home. Stairs cause the majority of falls, so a master bedroom and laundry room add-on might just make your home comfortable for another 10-15 years.
Utilize Kitchen Space
If doing a kitchen renovation, consider adding the majority of your storage in easy-to-reach places. Deep lower cabinets, drawers, and shelves in the pantry will be easier to reach than upper cabinets for seniors. Also, having a workspace that is lower than counter height – like a smaller island – can make working in the kitchen a little more comfortable for aging arms.
A bathroom remodel will vastly improve your home’s accessibility. Design a space that has lots of room to move around, a higher seated toilet, and especially a walk-in tub or shower. Avoid having a tall threshold to step over as you enter or exit the place where you wash.
These home improvements are some of the best ways to turn your home into a haven you can retire to. Let MN Home Improvements help your house become more comfortable and lead you towards a more independent lifestyle as you age in place.