By: Sarah Hollenbeck
Aging in place has been growing in popularity over the years, and for good reason. Who wouldn’t want to stay in their home for as long as possible? After all, you’ve invested so much time, money, and effort into your home over the years, so it makes sense to have an emotional attachment to it. But unfortunately, as we get older our bodies begin to experience new issues that can make it difficult to stay in your house. However, with a little bit of preparation, you can outfit your home for your needs and ensure that you are able to stay in your home for longer!
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with moving to an assisted living facility or a family member’s home if needed. But if aging in place is your ultimate goal, it’s best to get started on repairs early to make that possible.
Below, we break down the best home remodeling tips for seniors, including DIY options and updates specific to your ailments! So no matter if you are losing your mobility, getting confused more easily, or having trouble hearing, rest assured that we have your back (and soon, your home will too).
Maybe you aren’t dealing with any specific ailments right now, but are still interested in modifying your home to make your day-to-day life easier. If this sounds like you, you might want to consider more general remodeling options for your home that can make tasks like talking on the phone, opening doors and turning on lights a bit simpler.
Updating your appliances to smarter devices can help in many ways. Not only do they increase the value of your home should you ever decide to sell, but they can also help alert you to gas leaks, wasted energy and can even automatically turn off for you in case you forget. Other smart upgrades include remote control locks and security cameras, which allow you to monitor your home from your couch and easily call for help if needed. Other simple tasks such as removing carpets or rugs, reducing clutter, and installing brighter light bulbs can make it much easier to get around your home as the years go by.
One of the most common issues, as you grow older, is issues with your vision or hearing. And while you may know the layout of your home backward and forwards after all these years, there are still situations that could arise that would affect your safety if you don’t see or hear it. These instances include phone calls, break-ins, fires, and the potential for minor injuries.
For reduced vision, we recommend repainting your walls a lighter, matte color to open up space and reduce glare. Your light switches can be replaced with glow in the dark parts, so you can easily find a light source at night (and avoid potential falls).
When modifying your home for hearing loss, it’s important to focus on the items that produce sound first. Upgrade your fire alarms to include sound, light, and vibration, or connect it to your smartphone so you can be alerted when it detects smoke or fire. Speaking of your phone, no matter if you have a smart device or are using a landline, adding in a screen reader to your device can help turn phone calls into messages on your screen. This will allow you to better understand what others are saying while still communicating with them through the same device.
Over time, you may begin to rely on devices like walkers or wheelchairs to help you get around. And while there’s nothing wrong with using these for assistance, unfortunately, most homes are equipped for them. This is where some easy home updates come in handy.
If you are having trouble with your mobility, giving yourself more space within your home should be one of your main goals. Quick fixes like lowering the height of your bed, adding handrails to the stairs, and installing grab bars in the shower will help improve your ability to live independently for longer. Other, more intensive installations such as installing pull-down shelves in the kitchen or turning your bathtub into a walk-in shower will require more work. However, if you are really hoping to never leave your home, these upgrades can be well worth it.
Your senior years are called the “golden years” for a reason! It’s a perfect time to relax after years of hard work, get into new hobbies, and enjoy the home and life you’ve built for yourself. And with a few preparations, you can make sure your golden years are spent inside the home you know and love.
Interested in more home upgrades or tips on how to improve your life as a senior? Feel free to check out Hippo’s full blog for more information on living your life to the fullest and making your homework for you.
Sarah Hollenbeck is a content writer, DIY-addict, and yogi from Austin, Texas. She has a passion for helping others learn more about homeownership and take on their home upgrades themselves.