As we age, our needs and physical capabilities change. The home we’ve lived in for years may no longer be as comforting as it once was if we’re no longer able to climb stairs or we have special needs that require structural modifications. Recognizing the decision to leave your home is a very difficult and emotional one, consider that, in many instances, with the right adjustments to your existing home, you can stay and continue to enjoy independence and a familiar lifestyle for many more years. With careful planning, you and your home can age gracefully together.
Modifications to your home depend on a variety of factors, including your specific needs as well as the existing style and layout of the home. In general, a few key renovations in certain rooms will make your life transition as easy and smooth as possible. Below you’ll find ideas for remodeling projects that allow you to remain at home and age in place. And, such renovations can all be done in a way that is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.
Since mobility becomes more difficult as we age, centralizing necessities on the ground floor is crucial.
- Expand a ground-floor half-bath to a full bath.
- Make the bathroom as spacious as possible, with room to maneuver a wheelchair or walker.
- Since getting in and out of a bathtub can be treacherous, switch to a curbless shower (one that is flush with the floor, so no stepping is required). At a minimum, add grab bars in an existing bathtub/shower enclosure.
- Install a small shelf or cubbyhole in the shower to keep toiletries within easy, arm-level reach.
The right renovations mean preparing and cooking healthy meals is not a dangerous or difficult chore.
- Ensure daily dishes and silverware are within easy reach.
- Pots, pans, and utensils should be easily accessible – from drawers or pull-out shelving.
- Non-perishable food storage should be within arm’s reach or on pull-out shelving.
- A wall oven facilitates baking and roasting without a lot of bending and lifting.
- Install outlets at counter level to easily plug in small appliances.
Elsewhere throughout the house, other renovations ensure safe living.
- Have sufficient lighting in all rooms, including task lighting over sinks and appliances.
- Widen doorways to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
- To avoid tripping hazards, consider removing area rugs and installing low-pile carpeting or non-slip flooring.
- Relocate basement laundry facilities to the first floor.
- Add ramps at entrances to your home that have steps.
At DC Complete, we have the experience to remodel your home to fit your changing needs, so you can age in place with dignity. To find out more, give us a call (810) 407-1771