The concept of aging in place is a way of planning for the future. If you’ll be staying in your Massachusetts home for several more years, you can incorporate features into a home remodeling project now that will make life a little easier down the road. Aging in place focuses on making it safer and easier to get around with possible limitations in mobility, vision and energy. While there are many considerations for aging-in-place design, these 4 tips will ensure you are comfortable in your home for many years to come.
1. Lighting – Brighter is better when it comes to lighting. Use switches with a rocker or touch style or a dimmer, placed no more than 48 inches above the floor line at all entryways to rooms and halls.
2. Bathroom – Some of the biggest safety and logistical concerns for seniors and those with physical limitations come in the form of bathing and hygiene. Plan ahead with a bathroom remodel that includes safety railings, walk-in baths or showers with bench seating, chair-high toilets and non-slip floors.
3. Wide Open Spaces – Widen doorways and eliminate unnecessary walls and doors to plan ahead for wheelchairs and walkers. Flooring thresholds that are flush or 1/4-inch or less is ideal. Use contrasting colors in flooring when there is a level change. Lower cabinets by about three inches from traditional heights, and use open and pull-down shelves, rather than having cabinet doors.
4. Convenience Features – Make everything a little more convenient. Add intercoms to communicate from room to room. Central vacuuming systems, push buttons for window shades, levers and touch handles for faucets, programmable thermostats and laundry chutes are just a few ways to make everyday life a little easier. Elevators and ramps are great features to accommodate limited mobility, balance and vision.
Creating accommodations for health issues now can ensure your independence at home in your later years.