Remodeling for Elderly: A Comprehensive Guide

A lot of people purchase a home with the view to growing with it. The homes can change to suit their needs as their family grows and changes.

However, as you begin to take steps towards old age, the home that you have lived in for many years can start to become more difficult to move around comfortably and safely.

Now, when this happens, you have two options, you can downsize, or you can remodel your home to make it more suitable for your needs. Let’s take a closer look.

Remodeling vs Downsizing

As mentioned above, when you get older, you have two options, you can either choose to downsize and move into a smaller property, or you can remodel. Now, downsizing does have a few benefits; you can find a house that will work for you as you get older.

This could be a single-story home without any stairs to get up or down. You could also look for a property in a more like-minded community, like a retirement village.

However, moving does constitute a massive upheaval that not everyone is prepared to do at their advancing age.

Remodeling allows you to stay in your home, which probably holds a lot of sentimental value for you. It also ultimately means that your home will stay in your family even after you have gone.

However, remodeling also is not necessarily cheap. Depending on the work that needs to be done, it can become expensive.

Ultimately, your choice will depend on you. If you are having trouble coming to a decision, it might be worth consulting with your family and friends; they might have some advice or insights which could help.

The Exterior

Remodeling for Elderly

Making your home safer and more comfortable as you age isn’t solely limited to the interior of your home. The exterior of your home also needs to be considered.

Being able to get in and out of your home safely is incredibly important because your community can often be a lifeline. If you struggle to get out, it is very easy to become isolated and lonely.

Ensuring that the outside of your home is going to work for you as you get older will largely depend on your lifestyle and your routine.

That being said, there are a few things that will make sense regardless of your lifestyle. Firstly, motion sensor lights are programmed to come on when there is movement. This makes getting out of your home easier in lower lighting.

Motion sensor lights can also be a great security tool; they have been known to discourage criminals. Finally, if you have any mobility issues, then some form of railing or even a ramp might make sense.

The yard will also likely pose a few hazards to you as you get older, and your mobility reduces. A lot of elderly people have accidents in their yards.

It might be worth considering your landscaping options to make your yard as low maintenance as possible. If you can afford it, it might be worth hiring a gardener to take care of it for you. If you enjoy getting outside into the fresh air, it is worth considering your set-up.

Too much sun can be dangerous for older people who are far more likely to suffer from heat or sun-related health issues. This is easily mitigated by the installation of some form of shady structure like an awning from Marygrove Awnings. This awning provider can help add value to your property, too.

The Interior

The inside of your home will likely need more work than the outside. There are several elements to consider, most of which come down to improving the accessibility and maneuverability of your home.

The first thing to consider is your mobility; if it is likely that you will come to depend on walking aids or a wheelchair, you might want to consider widening your hallways and doorframes.

Wider hallways and doorways also make it easier to install a dado rail or handrail for those who do not suffer from mobility issues but want the extra safety that they afford.

You will also need to consider the flooring of your home; some flooring options can constitute more of a slip and trip hazard than others. At the very least, as you get older, you should begin to take up any rugs or floor coverings.

The next thing to think about is the size of your home. Is it a multi-story house? If so, it could become harder to get up and down the stairs as you get older.

A lot of older people choose to have a chair lift installed to make it easier for them to access the upper floors of the home.

However, if you have everything you need on the lower floors, it might not be necessary. You could begin to limit your use of the upper floors by moving downstairs and having someone come in semi-regularly to dust and vacuum the unused spaces.

Finally, it is also worth considering a few specific rooms within your home, like the bathroom, which can also pose more of a risk as you get older.

Obviously, the biggest consideration will be the bathtub and/or the shower; they can get slippery and become risky for elderly people or those with mobility issues.

Luckily, there are several solutions, from shower seats to walk-in baths or even wet rooms or railings, to help to make the bathroom safer.

The kitchen can also pose risks, especially if your senses begin to become more compromised, although again, there are solutions such as large print appliances or other tools.

The Bottom Line

A lot of people do not like confronting their mortality or the fact that they are getting older. However, making sure that your home is able to grow and evolve with your needs is important; it speaks directly to your safety and comfort, as well as ensuring that you can reasonably stay in your home for as long as you choose to do so.

The above tips offer a great starting point for you to begin planning your remodeling efforts, so be sure to keep them in mind.

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