Home Design Essentials for Aging in Place

By: Alex | Date Posted: August 18, 2023

How often do you think about your future? We’re not just talking about your career, retirement strategy, and pension fund. It’s also worth considering how comfortably you’ll be able to continue living in the home you love as you get a little older. As we age, our lives naturally become a little more complicated. Our vision and mobility can begin to suffer, making it harder to navigate a traditional modern home. That’s why it’s worth thinking long-term when you’re implementing home design strategies to upgrade your property. Making the right decisions for your property now could mean that you have more of an opportunity to age in place and maintain your independence during your senior years. Here are some of our top tips to help you prepare your property for the future.

Rethink Your Approach to Stairs

Most of us love the idea of a multi-story home in our younger years. More floors mean more space for bedrooms, home offices, and additional bathrooms, not to mention extra storage space. However, as you get older, navigating the stairs between floors can become more complex. While you can always consider moving to a single-floor home in your later years, there are ways you can make your home more accessible and convenient without a major move. Installing stair rails and in-floor lighting can make your staircases safer. Alternatively, you can invest even further in making your home easier to navigate by installing your own home lift. Not only will this make life easier during your younger years, by helping you to carry things between floors. It could also ensure you can stay in the home you love as you get older.

Get Smart About Lighting

Good lighting is crucial to your quality of life in any home. Access to plenty of natural light can improve your mental and physical health, and can even contribute to better sleep hygiene, reducing the feelings of fatigue you have throughout each day. However, it’s not just natural light that’s beneficial. If you’re worried about your sight deteriorating as you age, installing more intelligent lighting systems now could be a great way to get ahead of the issue. Motion-activated lighting is excellent for ensuring you have great visibility as soon as you walk into a kitchen or bathroom. It’s also a fantastic way to make your space feel more modern and attractive. If you can impress potential buyers with your motion-activated bulbs, you might find your home earns a higher price if you ever do decide to put it on the property market.

Plan for Accessibility

Accessibility is something that’s regularly overlooked by many interior design and décor teams. While you may not mind reaching for items on high shelves and grabbing your step ladder from time to time when you’re younger. These things can become more challenging as you age. The next time you’re upgrading your kitchen or adding new cabinets to your living room. Think about how easy they’ll be to access from any height. There are plenty of cabinet makers that create products that can be pulled down to a more convenient height in a couple of seconds. Some of these products also ensure you can make the most out of the available storage space in your home. They’ll allow you to place cabinets and drawers in more difficult-to-reach areas that would otherwise be left bare.

Transform Your Bathroom

One of the biggest areas most homeowners focus on when adapting their property for aging in place is the bathroom. There are many considerations when renovating your bathroom and even more so when doing so for the purposes of aging in place. Brimming with risks caused by moisture and slippery surfaces, the bathroom can be a hazardous environment for anyone with visibility and mobility issues. It’s worth thinking about how accessible your bathroom will be when you’re redesigning it. Think about investing in the latest ultra-comfortable walk-in showers, for a spa-like experience that comes with its own dedicated seat, and no need to climb in and out of tubs. Think about how you can improve the flooring to be less slippery and potentially dangerous. You could even look to adding grab bars for your bathroom to the toilet and tub area if you’re anxious about potential fall hazards.

Take Advantage of Technology

Finally, you don’t necessarily need to be approaching your senior years to see the benefits of smart technology in the home. Products like smart speakers and sensors have become increasingly popular in recent years. They allow users to control everything from their heating and security systems to their lighting with nothing but a smartphone app, or their own voice.

Seamless Smart Home Integration

These tools can make life much easier in a number of different ways. You can use them to switch your lights on and off wherever you are, so you’re not stumbling around in the dark looking for a light switch. Some smart speakers can also be configured to help you with regular tasks. As you get older, you can use your smart assistant to remind you when you need to take your medication or help you plan for appointments and arrange your schedules. You might even find that certain smart tools, like smart thermostats, reduce your energy bills, so it’s more affordable to continue aging in place too.

Prepare Your Home for Aging in Place

Getting older can be daunting. The last thing you want to deal with when you’re aging is having to move. From a comfortable home, where you have your independence, to an assisted living facility. However, if your home isn’t designed for seniors to begin with, it can be difficult to continue living a safe and healthy life without additional support. If you’re getting a little older, planning your home redesign and improvement strategies using the tips above could be a great way to preserve your independence. You can use these methods to ensure you’re prepared to age in place, without compromising on your interior décor or style preferences.

Thank you for reading!

Alex
 

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