5 Tips For Preparing Your Home: Aging In Place
For a growing number of people, living well means living comfortably in their own home for the rest of their lives rather than at traditional assisted living facilities.
As people age, however, physical challenges can make it harder to get around and most homes are not built to fit this change in need. One solution growing in popularity is remodeling the space to accommodate these challenges. This is quickly becoming known as "Aging in Place." And believe it or not, its usually cheaper in the long run than a more traditional option.
A major home remodel can cost thousands of dollars making the idea seem overwhelming and impossible to some. On the other end of the spectrum, a basic unit in an assisted living facility, for example, runs about $40,020 a year, according to the latest Cost of Care survey from Genworth Financial.
Whether you’re planning to renovate for yourself or a loved one, remodeling a home for aging in place can be a smart move. Here are a few renovation suggestions for seniors thinking about aging in place:
1) Widen Doorways
Doorways that are narrower than 32 inches don’t easily accommodate the need for a wheelchair or other mobility device making navigating through your home nearly impossible. This job typically requires replacing the existing frame, adding insulation, drywall and paint. This may also include moving and rewiring light switches.
2) Install Grab Bars and No Curb Showers
Grab bars are easy to install, heavy bars that help prevent falls in slippery tubs or showers. This is an easy project to complete when first starting to make renovations. A second option is installing a No Curb Shower. While the side of the tub may not seem high to some, stepping in and out of the shower can prove to be a real challenge for many as they grow older. A No Curb Shower insures anyone can easily get in and out without worrying about slips and falls.
3) Add A Wheelchair Ramp
If you know you’re planning to stay in your home forever, adding a ramp sooner rather than later is a smart idea. Even if no one in the home has an immediate need for a wheelchair, a ramp does eliminate the need to climb any stairs to get into your home.
4) Adjust Kitchen Counter tops
Regular counter tops are usually 34 inches off the floor which can make reaching appliances and other items difficult. Installing counter tops that are 30 inches off the floor can make it easier for someone using a wheelchair or a scooter to utilize their space.
5) Install Easy To Operate Doors and Hardware
For anyone diagnosed with arthritis or any other condition that limits movement it may become difficult to open doors with twisting round doorknobs. Pocket doors and lever door handles are an easy way to eliminate this challenge.
It’s important to decide if aging in place is right for you, and if you choose this route, planning ahead is imperative. When remodels are completed in small chunks over an extended amount of time, the idea of preparing your home will start to seem less overwhelming and more enjoyable!
Don’t know where to start? We can help!
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