Make your home work for you through the years
“Aging in place” (aka independent living) is the phenomena of older adults remaining in their homes as they age, rather than relocating or moving into an institutional setting. In fact, about 75% of 50-plus-year-olds would like to stay in their current homes or communities for as long as possible, compared to about half of 18 to 49-year-olds, according to AARP. With age, lifestyle needs change and if staying in your home is important to you, you may have concerns about getting around your home or getting simple tasks done, including personal care. Whether you’re a future caregiver or a care recipient, the suggestions below can help with some of these worries and ensure you have a functional home.
As you prepare to make this big life step, take the time to sit down and think about the types of help you, a partner or a care recipient may need. Everyone’s situation is different, so it’s important to take the necessary steps now to avoid future issues.
One way to plan ahead is to talk to a doctor. Oftentimes, there may be medical conditions that could affect or complicate the way one ages in place or even hinder mobility around the house. If you’re a caregiver, it can prove helpful to be proactive. While these may be daunting conversations, it’s important to have them with a doctor and discuss best practices for living in your home long-term.
Another way to plan ahead is to create an at-home checklist of simple design updates that’ll allow a safe, independent living experience. The easiest way to identify what to change is to walk around the house and take note of anything that could pose a challenge in the near future. Consider door levers over doorknobs, light switches with a rocker panel versus a toggle switch, or even awning-style windows to make them easier to open and close. Making subtle changes like these can have long-term impacts on your comfort and ability to stay put.
TAP AVAILABLE RESOURCES
If you’re already having trouble moving around the house, it may be time to outsource assistance. Some people avoid electric scooters or chairs due to the hefty price tag, but what many don’t realize is that some at-home electronic aids are covered by Medicare. Other available resources for home modifications or low-cost assistive devices include Administration for Community Living, The National Rehabilitation Information Center and AARP.
If you wish to revamp your space with stylish home furnishings that allow for aging in place, consulting an experienced local home designer or Certified Aging in Place Specialist is your best bet. These professionals are trained in meeting the needs of older adults by assisting with aging-in-place home renovations. Whether you need pocket doors to help with mobility between rooms, wider hallways for wheelchairs, or even a single-story house plan with a complete second suite, these designers can help update a home to adapt to a family — instead of a family adapting to a new home. Resources for this include Accessible Living, Paul Schumacher Homes and even care.com.
Aging-in-place updates don’t always have to look and feel dull. You can make simple tweaks to make any space look presentable and elegant. An easy place to start is in the bathroom. Remodel your bath space the easy, affordable way and fit it with the all-new Precept® ADA Tub & Shower with Hand Shower by Peerless®. Designed for all, this sleek and modern shower trim kit assures everyone has a safe, comfortable showering experience. It also comes
in three different finishes (chrome, matte black and brushed nickel) to fit almost any bath space and design. Its 5-inch tub spout, handle operations, hand shower, hose and 24-inch grab bar are all ADA-compliant to help you create an accessible space without compromising design or functionality. You can also pair this trim kit with the brand-new accessories within the Precept® Bath Collection for a coordinated, unified look.
Other easy home aging-in-place modifications could be eliminating hard-to-reach areas like high or low cabinets. Instead, opt for darker hued drawers right under your countertop; this way they’re more accessible and can easily match almost any kitchen décor. Need additional aging-in-place thoughtful kitchen inspiration? Introduce a mobile, adjustable kitchen island with lots of storage to avoid excess meal prepping and standing time.
If aging in place is the path forward, it’s important to realize there’s more to it than just staying put. Like every stage in life, it’s important to ensure that plans are thought through, even for the future. When thinking through ways to create a safer and age-friendly home environment, take advantage of resources available to you and prioritize updating rooms you utilize the most. Focus on the basics and create a well-coordinated and accessible space with fixtures that don’t compromise on aesthetics or functionality.
This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.