As you age, one of the biggest considerations you’ll make is where you choose to spend your golden years. Many of us prefer to age at home, because our homes are comfortable to us, they’re in our neighbourhoods where we know many people, and they’re also where many of our most precious memories happened. One of the best things you can do to ensure that you can age comfortably at home is to make your home more accessible, you may want to start making small changes now, so that by the time you really need them they’re already in place. Here are my top tips for how to make your home more accessible:
1. Install a Stairlift
If you’ve got a double storey home, then one of the biggest concerns will be navigating the stairs safely. A fall can result in a broken hip and a cascade of surgeries, which can be risky and painful to recover from. For that reason, I suggest installing a stairlift. That way you know that you and your loved ones can easily navigate your home. Installing a stairlift can be a considerable expense, but when you compare the cost to the cost of selling your home and uprooting your life, I think it’s a worthwhile invetment. Age Co Mobility have a variety of designs to suit all stair types, allowing you to keep the over all aesthetic of your home while improving it’s function.
2. Consider Hand Rails
Hand rails are relatively inexpensive fixtures that can make your home a lot more functional! Think about the areas of your home that you struggle to use, particularly high risk areas such as the bathroom with the shower and toilet. Adding in hand rails in these areas will allow you to more easily get up and down, without worrying about slipping or falling. There are a few other places around your home where you may find this useful, including if you have a front or back door step. A properly installed hand rail gives you an extra boost of stability that can give you more mobility around your home.
3. Change the Door Knobs
If you have a home with door knobs, then as your hands become weaker you might struggle to open your doors. For that reason, I suggest changing to lever style door handles as they’ll be easier to open, especially if your hands get shaky. If you have a larger home, this can be quite an expense, so why not go slowly and start changing your high volume use areas first, and slowly making your way through the entire home.
4. Consider a Ramp
If you have stairs in your entry way, why not consider changing it to a ramp. This can be a great investment because if you end up needing the assistance of a chair or a walker to get around, then your front entrance will already be accessible. This can be quite a considerable expense, so you should get a variety of quotes before committing to see the best price. If you do your front and back entrances, you may be able to save a little on the overall cost.
Making small changes to your home will help you feel more comfortable and confident there. Whether you choose to install a stairlift, change your door knobs, install ramps, or add in handrails, any changes you make will help maintain your independence as you age.