As you age, your home design may no longer support your needs. For one, stairs may start to become more difficult to climb and opening the door for guests can easily start to feel like a chore.
If these situations sound relatable to you now, it’s important to understand that there’s no need to worry about making big renovations. That’s because there are ways to adjust your home to your needs. Just a few simple changes and you’ll be surprised at how much easier it will be for you to move and make the most of your home life.
Here are some of the home upgrades that can help make your days more comfortable:
1 – Change your home’s layout
It was once probably very easy to move around the furniture in your home. But before you find it impossible to move around, start by getting rid of any clutter that’s getting in the way. By doing this, it will allow you to throw away or donate things you are no longer using — an endeavour that can provide plenty of benefits for you and others.
“A spring clean is the perfect opportunity to sort through all of your belongings and re-evaluate what you actually need in your home,”
Junk Hunters founder Harsha Rathnayake tells House Beautiful Magazine. The more space that you have, the less chances that you will stumble into furniture around the house. This works especially well if you’re already using a wheelchair.
2 – Install balustrades and handrails
Thick and sturdy handrails are a great choice if you’re looking for additional support as you go up and down the stairs. You can also make your landing spaces more functional by turning them into a small nook so you can rest between floors.
In addition, Family Handyman suggests extending your stair rail since it typically ends at the bottom step. The landing is often where it’s most difficult to keep your balance, so an extended handrail would be very helpful. Make sure you add lighting, too, in case you need to use the stairs at night.
3 – Add grab bars in the bathroom and bedroom
Another way to ensure safety in your home is to add grab bars to your bathroom and bedroom. Make sure that the bars you install are ADA-compliant so that they can support your weight. If you want your grab bars to blend in with the rest of your home design, you can install double-duty ones that can serve as towel racks, toilet paper holders, corner shelving, and shower railings.
In addition, it’s good to pay close attention to your toilets, too. Adjust the height so you don’t find it difficult to sit down or stand up. You can also opt for hands-free ones that have automatic washing and drying functions. The wide variety of toilets featured on Screwfix shows how most lavatories come with dual flushes to save water as well as features like soft seats. These will help you save up for other home improvements while also keeping you from worrying about putting the seat down.
4 – Invest in good non-slip flooring
Non-slip flooring is a great upgrade for your house’s entryway and in the bathroom. If you can’t change your floors, you can install non-stick mats instead. But if you’re thinking of replacing your floors, make sure you avoid natural stone, ceramic and porcelain tiles, as well as rugs that are difficult to clean. In this regard, The Spruce claims vinyl is the best choice for your flooring because it’s easy to clean and maintain — not to mention how it’s one of the most affordable flooring options out there.
5 – Add a little artificial intelligence
A little help from artificial intelligence wouldn’t hurt either. Here on the Retirement Matters, we previously featured The MiiCare system, an AI-based device that uses sensor monitoring to keep elderly people like you safe at home. In the event of an emergency, The MiiCare can detect abnormal activity and ask help from your immediate contacts. All you need to do is place sensors around key locations in your home and you’re all set — you don’t even need an internet connection.
Staying in your own home when you get old shouldn’t be a scary proposition. Aside from MiiCare, you can also check out other personal emergency response systems that are easy to use but sophisticated enough to keep you safe. There are medic alert-like pendants and wristbands that can monitor your vitals, alert your family, and call medical professionals in case of an emergency.
What’s great about smart tech is that you often don’t have to be tech savvy to be able to operate them, but they do a world of good for you and your home in the process.