When we start to get a little further on in life, there are a lot of things to take into account – finances, family, health and independence all need thinking about. One way to make sure your independence is maximised for as long as possible is to think about adaptations you could make for your home to make mobility easier, and living in your own home a sustainable option.
Not all of these adaptations require major work on your home either – some are simple changes you’ll barely notice, whereas others are a little more in depth.
One of the biggest challenges to mobility when you get older is stairs, as they present a fall risk as well as a time consuming challenge. You can combat this by installing a chair life which will allow you to get safely from floor A to floor B, in a leisurely fashion. For those of us living in more unusual houses it’s also possible to get a curved stair lift for your home, meaning there’s no need to make any major changes to your house when you make modifications.
No slip flooring
One particularly hazardous room is the bathroom, with their shiny floors and obvious tendency to get a bit wet. It’s a good idea to add non-slip flooring to slippery surfaces, such as the bottom of the bath or shower, to avoid preventable falls and give you the benefit of being sure footed. Any bath mats should also be kitted out with anti-slip material on the bottom to avoid them slipping against the floor.
Eliminate trip hazards
Things which may once have been no trouble at all, such as that small step from the kitchen into the dining room, may now present more of a challenge. Luckily it’s easy to modify such hazards by adding a small ramp instead to reduce the possibility of tripping or missing the step. This is also a necessary step to take if any of the house’s inhabitants are part-time or full-time wheelchair users – or will be becoming more dependent on a wheelchair in the future. Using ramps is also easier for those who walk with a frame.
So there you have it, if you’re worrying about how to adapt your home for older adults, here are some top tips – while some are more of an investment in terms of time and money, like installing a stair lift, some are quite simple and can be done with the help of your local DIY store. It might seem like an inconvenience – but it’s better safe than sorry!