Living well during your golden years is something of a double-edge sword. You now have the time to fill your days pursuing hobbies and interests that were put on hold due to other life demands. The other side of the coin – the possibility of failing health or a fall – needs to be addressed before disruptions push your new found pursuits aside for good. Moving to a care facility or a smaller, accessibility friendly home isn’t much of a choice. In economically challenging times, there’s a reason why remodeling your home, including additions like stair lifts and walk-In showers/tub combinations, have become so popular as well as affordable for so many. But just what senior-friendly additions or remodels would be best to make in your home?
When considering an accessibility driven addition or remodel, the focus should be on universal design. This concept involves incorporating design that addresses self-sufficiency, safety, mobility, comfort and convenience into your current home design. Such as a stair lift for a two-level home. Of course, the best time to rethink about home modifications and remodels is long before the need for them actually occurs.
Here are few remodels to consider when making your current home senior-friendly.
- Consider a stair lift. Installing a stair lift is an economical and adaptable way to increase mobility in your home without the expense of moving or a major renovation. When climbing stairs becomes a safety issue, a stair lift can extend your years of independence without the worry of how to get around or falling. A key benefit here is no major remodeling is needed. Most stair lifts can be installed in one day. The best part is stair lifts can be installed on curved, straight and even spiral stairs.
- Install handrails. Besides stair lifts, handrails can help with mobility. Falls can be avoided if there is something to hang on to when maneuvering within long hallways.
- Install outdoor stair lifts or chair lifts outside. Chair lifts or stair lifts are the new answer to building outdoor ramps. Of course, creating wider pathways and clearing shrubbery will also help with both safety and security. But there are many outdoor models for stairway chair lifts to choose from, and units are designed to be protected from various weather conditions.
- Install motion sensor lights or motion detecting lights. This is an excellent idea since it addresses safety, mobility and convenience at the same time. Installed outside the front door, back door, garage door and driveway, these lights can reduce falls from fumbling to finding keys in the dark. An entryway can be notoriously dark and dangerous if it’s not well lit. If motion sensor lights are installed inside of dark stairwells, it makes mobility easier, especially when carrying items like heavy groceries. No one needs to worry about slipping, falling and bumping into furniture.
- Invest in a Better Bath. A bathroom remodel is an senior-friendly modification that is also a wise investment. Shower bars are not the only way to make baths and showers safer from falls and slips. A smaller investment may be to place non-slip flooring or bathmats in the shower. People looking to remodel can find a wide array of convenient shower tub installs. From walk-in showers and tubs to single-handled faucets that make gripping a cinch, to seating areas in shower stalls, home remodelers can find what you need to make your home easily accessible.
Home assessments are available from many contractors. Once you’ve got that assessment list, you can begin the task of obtaining work estimates. Many of these renovations are budget-friendly and take no time at all. With accessible chair and stair lifts, senior home modifications can give you security, safety and convenience without the loss of independence.
About the Author
Dave Carevich has been actively involved in promoting expert solutions and use of the accessibility products the company distributes, installs and services at McKinley Elevator for over 3 years. Dave is a graduate of the University of Southern California and has been serving his industry for many years.