An average of 10,000 baby boomers retire each day, and while some may decide to downsize or relocate, others choose to adapt their homes for enjoyment into their golden years. A large part of aging in place is ensuring that everything is within reach and easy to use. Here are some ideas that can help you prepare to age well in your home.
Add Small, Important Features
Think convenience and accessibility when selecting new appliances, like a front-load washer and dryer, and adding fixtures, such as adjustable showerheads, lever-style door handles and handrails on both sides of a staircase. Even small adjustments like lower light switches and higher electrical outlets can have an impact on the functionality of your home later in life.
Make Thoughtful Renovations
If you’re budgeting for a larger remodel, consider some of the more common aging-in-place improvements:
- Increase the width of doorways to at least 36 inches.
- Add a step-free exterior entrance or ramp.
- Install a bathroom on the ground floor, complete with a walk-in shower and low-rise tub.
- Opt for pocket doors where possible.
- Outfit the kitchen with shallow sinks, multilevel countertops and a bottom-freezer fridge.
Smart technology in the home has practical uses for those looking to age in place. Smart bath monitors can turn the water off before a tub overflows, and detection alarms on stoves can now alert homeowners to a potentially dangerous situation before toxic gases are even present. Motion-activated lights, smart doorbells with a video monitor and smart home security systems give seniors who live independently more peace of mind.
Even if you’re nowhere near retiring, it’s important to make a plan. When it comes to aging in place, it makes sense to have the fixes complete before you need them.