One of the most significant decisions that you can make in life is choosing how to address the ageing process. While many people start by considering the medical and health aspects, the reality is that ageing demands a more comprehensive approach. One major factor that will affect the quality of life, mobility and comfort is your living situation. If you're thinking about downsizing or building a new home, it's much better to design it with age in mind. This way, you'll be able to adapt to your changing needs over time. Here are some tips on how to build a home that fits your needs as you age.
Start with the Basics: Flooring, Lighting and Doors
The flooring should be slip-resistant, so consider using materials like wood, bamboo or cork. Make sure to avoid tiles and carpets, which can raise the risk of falls. For lighting, use bright light bulbs to keep the room well-lit, and install motion sensors in key areas like the hallway or bathroom. Consider replacing your traditional doors with wider ones that accommodate a wheelchair if necessary. This way, you won't have to worry about mobility issues later on.
Create an Open Floor Plan
Open floor plans are ideal for seniors because they make the home more accessible and easier to navigate. An open floor plan also feels more spacious and inviting, making it an excellent choice for hosting family and friends alike. Open-plan homes have fewer walls, which is perfect for manoeuvring devices such as wheelchairs and walkers. With open spaces, you can move around more freely and avoid getting stuck in tight spots.
Install Grab Bars and Railings
For safety, you'll need to install grab bars and railings throughout the house. These will help you maintain balance and stability as you navigate the home. Install the safety devices near the bathtub, shower and toilet to avoid slips and falls. Installing railings in hallways, staircases and other high-trafficked areas will make you feel more secure as you move around.
Pay Attention to the Bathroom
The bathroom is one of the most dangerous areas in a home for seniors, so it's important to create a space that is safe. Use non-slip tiles on the floor and walls, and consider a walk-in shower that is wheelchair accessible. Toilets should be taller to make sitting and standing more comfortable. You may also want to install a bidet, which is easier to access than a traditional toilet.
What to Remember
Building a home that accommodates ageing can seem like a daunting task, but it's worth it. Discuss your ideas with a home builder and make a plan for your home.
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