The Best Aging-In-Place Design Changes for Your Home
Essential Bathroom UpgradesThe slippery surfaces and daily necessities of the bathroom can pose significant challenges as you age. Some possible adjustments include:
- Curbless showers: With no threshold to step over, curbless showers reduce the risk of trips and falls.
- Shower benches: Having a place to sit makes showering more comfortable and safer.
- Walk-in tubs: Easy-access doors make these tubs perfect for those with mobility issues.
- Grab bars: Stylish grab bars in the shower, near the toilet, and elsewhere around the bathroom provide much-needed support.
- Comfort-height toilets: These fixtures are a few inches taller than standard models, making them easier to use if mobility is an issue.
Kitchen Modifications for Ease and SafetyThe kitchen is the heart of the home, and making it more accessible can significantly enhance your quality of life. Here are some modifications to consider:
- Motorized cabinets: Motorization allows easier access to upper and lower cabinets without reaching or bending.
- Chair-height surfaces: Lower countertops and work surfaces are perfect for seated food preparation.
- Upgraded plumbing fixtures: Motion-sensor faucets and soap dispensers reduce the need for grip strength and manual dexterity.
Bedroom Improvements for Comfort and AccessibilityThe bedroom should be a sanctuary, even as your mobility decreases. Consider these improvements:
- Spacious, open closets with pull-down rods: These design elements keep clothing easy to reach and organize.
- Low-profile furniture: Beds, benches, and chairs that sit closer to the ground are easier to use and walk around.
- Bedrails: These provide support when getting in and out of bed to help avoid injury.
Around-the-House Changes for a Safer EnvironmentConsider these universal design changes to enhance safety and accessibility throughout the house:
- Task lighting: Improved lighting helps prevent falls and makes certain tasks more manageable.
- Non-slip flooring: Trading out slippery tile for cork or bamboo flooring helps prevent falls, a common risk that comes with age. Removing rugs, cords, and other tripping hazards is also essential.
- Hardware changes: Rocker light switches and ergonomic door handles are easier to operate for those with arthritis or limited hand strength.
- Wider doors and hallways: These make it easier to navigate the house with walkers, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids.
- Ramps and elevators: As stairs become a challenge, consider installing ramps or a personal elevator to ensure seamless movement between levels.
- Smart technology: From automated lighting to a voice-controlled thermostat, smart tech makes life easier and safer.