When you have spent years turning a house into your home, the thought of leaving it for a more “accessible” property is daunting.
But with a few changes, you don’t need to leave your home. Instead, you can turn it into a safe haven that suits your lifestyle as you age. In this blog, we’re sharing our tips for improving your home as you age.
Think About Lighting
Lighting can make a huge difference to your home. As well as adding ambience and warmth to a room, lighting can also make your home safer.
Add motion-sensor external lights to the front and back doors to ensure you can always see the path clearly when coming and going. Inside the home, make sure each room is well lit, and that light switches are easy to reach.
Ensure The Garden Is A Safe Haven
Spending time in the garden is relaxing and can reduce stress. Plus, for those who enjoy gardening, having an easily accessible and safe garden is essential. If there are steps to the garden, install a secure ramp as well as handrails.
Ensure there’s enough even pathways and hard surfaces so you can move easily around the garden, even if your mobility isn’t quite what it used to be. And add raised flower beds to avoid bending and kneeling where possible.
Decluttering can give you more room within the home and make your home that little bit safer. For some people, parting with things they’ve had for a long time can be very challenging. But it is your house and your rules – so only get rid of things you no longer want or need.
Go through one room at a time and decide what you’re going to put in the bin, give away to charity or keep. Decluttering can be a fun exercise – and your home will look and feel much better for it. Be sure to keep any mementos, photographs or other items that you want to treasure.
If you are finding it difficult to part with things in your home, perhaps just have a good old sort through and put stuff in storage instead.
Focus on decluttering the rooms you use most, such as the lounge and bedroom. Airtight storage boxes can be filled and stored in the shed, attic or anywhere else you have space.
Make Floors Safe
It only takes one fall to make you view your home in a different light. A place that was once your safe haven suddenly becomes the place where you suffered an injury.
But with even, non-slip flooring, you can avoid trips and falls. Vinyl flooring, cork flooring or carpets are excellent choices to improve your home as you age.
Have A Room Dedicated To A Hobby
If you still work, or volunteer, it may be worth turning a spare room into a home office. Alternatively, you can turn it into a hobby room.
If you’re spending more time at home than you used to, it makes sense to make the most out of the space. Plus, having a dedicated space for your hobby keeps the rest of the house clutter-free.
Make The Stairs Accessible
It could be something as simple as adding sturdy handrails on either side of the staircase, or if you or a loved one has mobility issues, a stairlift may be the better option. With a stairlift, you are future-proofing your home and ensure that upstairs is always accessible.
Improve The Kitchen
The kitchen is often the heart of the home. It is where we spend most of our time cooking, dining and entertaining family and friends. However, as we age, the kitchen can come an unsafe space. But installing a brand new kitchen isn’t always an option – and thankfully it isn’t always necessary either.
Simple changes, such as replacing the cupboards with easier to reach shelves, and adding pull out racks/drawers to the lower cupboards can make a huge difference. Adding hooks to the walls and fixing any sticky drawers can also make a big difference.
Install An Appropriate Door Bell
If you live alone, answering the door to strangers isn’t always the best idea. By fitting a video doorbell, such as a RING, or a wireless doorbell that connects to a telephone, you will always know who is on the other side of the door.
If you have relatives or friends who visit regularly, it may be worth adding a key safe to the exterior of your house so they can let themselves in if required.