Once you retire, you’ll spend most of your days in your own home, which can stretch to another 20-30 years since you live in Utah. Utahns are the healthiest and most spry seniors in the USA, but time catches up to everyone, and you need to prepare your home for your later years.
Make Changes as Early as Possible
Don’t wait until you retire to make changes to your house. You might be strong and agile now, but that can change after a decade or two. Have your house renovated early, making custom changes should be done while you’re still healthy and have enough financial flexibility. Making changes early also makes your home safer, reducing your risk of suffering accidents, which can lead to costly visits to the hospital.
Opt for Convenience and Safety
Make renovations with the assumption that you would lose a bit of your mobility. Your knees and joints might be fine now, but they’ll be giving you problems as you advance in age. Get rid of steps and try to make everything level. If you can keep everything on the first floor, you should do so.
Stairs can be hazardous once your knees start to give in. Stairlifts aren’t that safe, and home elevators can be a bit expensive. Change your doorknobs to lever-type ones. You might have the grip strength today, but arthritis can rob you of that as you get older.
Accidents are more likely if you can’t see, so try to keep your hallways lit through automated/timed systems or with motion detection. Burns and fires can be quite common once Alzheimer’s sets in, so switch to a convection stove and have anti-scald valves installed in your faucets and showers.
Bathrooms Deserve More Attention
Your bathroom requires the most attention and renovations. The majority of household accidents happen in the bathroom, and you’ll be making frequent trips there once you reach a certain age. Slips and falls are no laughing matter, especially since your bones and joints won’t be as resilient as they were in your youth. A simple fall on hard bathroom tiles can require a trip to the hospital, and your injuries can be severe or even life-threatening.
Make your bathroom doors wide (just in case you might need a wheelchair) and have it open outwards. Place supports along the walls, especially the ones leading to the toilet. Supports near the toilet seat are essential for safety and ease of use. Sitting down and standing up can be hard on the knees, and changing positions can lead to a bit of vertigo. Taking a bath or shower gets a little more complicated. Both have certain risks involved, but you can get around them with a walk-in tub.
Senior homes need to be safe and accessible. Early renovations can reduce the risk of accidents and make living in your house a little bit more convenient. Make those changes now and don’t put it off because you might not have the time, will, strength, or finances later in life.