Your house has been with you through thick and thin. The walls you’ve carefully decorated with memories have served as home to lots of love, laughter and growth. Aging is a part of life, and the adventure that comes with it can be exciting. It also brings challenges.
As you move through the stages of your life and into your golden years, don’t feel as though you need to slap a For Sale sign on your beloved abode just yet. It is possible to age alongside your home. Look to these tips for creating a safe home that can effectively support your later years.
Prevent Falls in The Shower
The bathroom should be the first room you tackle when creating a safer home. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 235,000 people visit the emergency room for bathroom-related injuries, and the bulk of these individuals are over the age of 85. This older demographic experiences more than half of their injuries near the toilet. As this space is a living necessity, you may want to go the extra mile to make bathroom modifications.
Consider installing a walk-in bathtub design. This model will eliminate the need to step over a high ledge, minimizing the risk of falling. If possible, opt for a spacious design that can accommodate a bench to help you stay stable while you wash. Upgrading to a walk-in isn’t necessarily a DIY project—researching "plumbers near me" will have you connected with the perfect professional for the job.
Install Grab Bars
As you age, balancing tends to become more difficult. Installing grab bars and railings throughout the home can help you continue to live with ease. If you have a stairwell leading to a second floor that you are still able to comfortably climb, consider installing an additional railing so you can stabilize your weight using both arms.
To further prevent falls in the bathroom, install grab bars both within and outside of the shower area, as well as around the toilet, to help you lift and lower yourself. You don’t have to sacrifice your homes aesthetic in the name of safety- there are so many stylish safety bars on the market in a variety of cool, mixed metal finishes and designs.
Bring in Company
If you live alone, bringing an additional person into your space may offer peace of mind. Taking advantage of homesharing services such as Silvernest can help you connect with compatible housemates who bring companionship, extra income and support into your life.
Maintaining your independence Is undoubtedly a priority in your live, and a housemate can provide a sense of security. They can be an extra set of eyes and ears in case anything happens, and many are willing to assist around the home in exchange for a discount on rent or other expenses.
Modern advancements in home technology can be vital in creating a safer home. Upgrading to voice-controlled smart thermostats and HVAC systems will eliminate the need to fiddle with small buttons. Touchless faucets and stove monitoring technology can also help you live worry-free.
As you age, the damage that slipping and falling can increase. Take precaution and consider installing flooring with better grip. If you’re not looking to take on the costs of reflooring your entire place, first tackle the kitchen and bathroom, as well as staircases, if you live in a multi-floor house. If you’re currently using slippery vinyl or tile flooring in either room, consider switching it out for finishes with better grip such as cork or bamboo.
When making your stairs safer, don’t be fooled—adding cushioned padding to each step can actually increase the probability of an accident. Plush padding with a thicker ledge can cause you to trip as you ascend or descend the steps. A great way to help minimize risk is to add color to your stairs. Painting the base of each step will create a contrast and help your eyes recognize where to safely step.
Don’t say goodbye to the place you’ve created your fondest memories in. Instead, take the necessary steps to transform it into a forever home so it can age gracefully alongside you!