If you have a senior at home, consider renovations to make your house more senior-friendly. More and more seniors are opting out of care homes and are choosing to age in place. And why should they not? Senior people want to live with their families instead of a private home too.
However, is your home really safe and accessible for seniors? You should make some changes to your home, if it is not. Here are some renovation tips to make your home more senior-friendly.
11 Renovation Tips to Make Your Home More Senior-Friendly
Home is where the heart is. You want to be comfortable in your home. However, as people age, they will inevitably need some renovations to accommodate their age. Here are 10 tips to make your home much more senior-friendly.
1. Use Lever Handles Instead of Door Knobs
Young people have no problem opening doors. They have plenty of grip strength. However, installing lever handles instead of knobs for seniors will make it much more usable.
People lose their grip strength as they get older. Moreover, diseases like arthritis also impact your grip strength. In that case, using a door knob can be very difficult. A simple lever handle will make it much easier.
2. Non-slip Flooring
Adding textured and non-slip flooring will make the whole house safer for seniors. A bad fall can be disastrous. Moreover, the damage can be irreversible.
If you have a senior living in the house, you can change the flooring material with something that has more grip.
3. Install a Stairlift
Stairs are very difficult for seniors to climb. Moreover, they can hurt themselves badly if they fall down the stairs. All these risks can be mitigated by installing a stairlift.
Stairlift cost can vary. You only need sometimes to spend a few thousand dollars for a good one. Besides, apart from making going up and down stairs safer, a stairlift will also make it less tiring for seniors.
4. Increase the Lighting
Improved lighting is a thoughtful renovation you can do to your home to make it more senior-friendly. Seniors need about 2 to 3 times more brightness.
Besides, boosting your lighting will make everything more visible as well. You should aim for at least 500 LUX for places like the kitchen, living room, and dining room.
5. Install Sliding Doors
Sliding doors are easier to use. Moreover, they also make it easier to enter and exit a place. In an emergency, paramedics can enter easily and provide the necessary care. Plus, sliding doors also look pretty cool and save space. So, it is a win-win.
6. Add a Shower Seat
Standing for long periods will naturally be very tiresome for seniors. That is why you can add a seat in the shower to make showering less tiring.
There are tons of great foldable options as well. They are sturdy and can be folded when not in use to save space.
7. Try to Reduce High Cabinets
It is always better to keep things a senior family member will need at eye-level or close to the ground. Reaching high can cause them to fall or lose balance.
They may even be stepping on a tool to reach, which is never safe. Therefore, reduce the number of high cabinets wherever possible. In addition, you can have a rule in your house not to keep things your senior family member needs too high up.
8. Clear Entryways
To make it easy for seniors and also wheelchair users, clear out entryways. You can remove any bulky furniture and thick rugs near entryways.
Rugs can interfere with walking sticks. As a result, a senior who relies on a walking stick to get around might trip. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 1.25m to 1.5m of maneuvering space around your entryways. Adding lights near entryways will also make it safer for seniors.
9. Install Grab Bars in the Bathroom
Installing conveniently placed grab bars near the shower, toilet, and bathtub makes it much safer (and easier) for seniors to lower and lift themselves. It provides them with some much-needed leverage and support.
Speaking of bathrooms, if you have a dedicated bathroom for seniors, you should also keep it clean. Germs and bacteria might make them (and anyone) sick.
10. Have a Dedicated Space for Placing Things
A simple table or surface for easily placing things like keys or packages will be handy occasionally. A senior person can easily place something they have on hand and rest a bit if they need to.
11. Have a No-Step Entry
You should have at least one no-step entry to your home. Steps and stairs are not a senior’s best friend. A senior can easily enter and exit the house without dealing with steps by having at least one no-step entry. This is especially true if they are in a wheelchair.
Can You Finance Home Renovation for Seniors?
Look, we get it. Home renovations can be expensive. It would be smart to see whether you can save money on the renovation. Sometimes, you can get home improvement grants based on income and where you live.
In addition, you might also get tax credits. But this is only sometimes the case. You will mostly need to pay for renovations yourself. Insurances typically only cover the costs of installing medical equipment in the home, not renovations.
However, you should always check with local authorities whether you qualify for grants.
You can follow the renovation tips mentioned above to make your home more senior-friendly. A good way to keep your home senior-friendly is to focus on key aspects like visibility, accessibility, and safety.