At some point, ageing homeowners will be faced with a choice: do they stay in their home known as ageing in place or find new accommodations. Once the kids have grown up and moved away (or if there never were any children), some might be more than happy to move into a smaller space that requires less upkeep. For others, however, the idea of moving out of their beloved home where they formed so many memories will seem unthinkable. But as passing years bring a decline in mobility and self-sufficiency, they may find they have little other choice. To help seniors continue to live at home for as long as possible, some renovations can prove invaluable.
Bathroom renovations for seniors
This is often the part of the home that causes the most concern. Among Canadian seniors, falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations, with many of them occurring in the bathroom. There are some options to help avoid injury, however: Grab bars are a well-known means of helping seniors by providing necessary support when moving, or as something to grab onto in the event of a slip.
- Tub/shower seats are useful for those with balance issues, allowing them to sit
while bathing or showering. They also allow both hands to be free for washing.
Accessible tubs or showers make it easier to enter and exit the bathing area.
- Showers without a curb can allow access even with a walker, and tubs with a side
door make entry and egress safer.
- Toilet seat extenders make toilets effectively higher, making sitting and rising less
difficult. There is also the option to install new, taller toilets.
Accessbility Kitchen renovations for seniors
While kitchens may not be the first spot one thinks of in terms of renovating for safety, convenience is certainly a concern. Is there room for a walker? Can essentials be reached from a wheelchair? Here are some renovations to consider making the home as senior-friendly as possible:
- Under-the-counter space is an important consideration for wheelchairs and walkers. Without sections of the counter to provide space, seniors might be unable to get close enough to the counter to engage in normal activities like food preparation.
- Lower cabinet levels might be necessary for full accessibility. This can even prove useful for non-seniors who can’t quite reach the top shelves without a step stool.
- Drawers instead of shelves is another good option for everyone, not just seniors. They are not just easier to use, but also easier to keep organized.
- Rounded corners help keep everyone safe from bumps due to diminished perception, or, worse, falls.
Increasing accessibility around the home
There are a variety of places throughout the home where a renovation might be useful or even necessary for continued safety.
- Floors might need to be levelled out to prevent falls and might also need to be textured to avoid slips.
- Lever-style door handles can make life considerably easier for those coping with arthritis.
- More and better lighting can help prevent accidents around the home for those with reduced vision.
- Stairlifts may become necessary for those who have difficulty navigating the stairs.
Safety and convenience are the two major concerns for those who want to stay in their home for as long as possible. Making a few simple adjustments can help ensure that you stay home for years longer than what might otherwise be possible.