Around the holidays, people celebrate the joys of home and family. For an expanding generation of boomers and seniors, these times reinforce the joys of living independently in the family home. While some have made the choice to downsize and rent an apartment, or even to embrace assisted living, you may still want to continue to enjoy the place where you raised your kids and created many of the memories of life.
The holidays may indicate that things have changed due to age. Putting up the holiday decorations is a little more difficult, and you must make sure that cords for lights and decorations are out of the way so you don’t trip over them. If you look around your home, you might notice that other aspects of daily life are a bit more trouble as well. As it is about time to make resolutions for what you hope to accomplish in the new year, it’s a good time to think about how age-friendly your home is. Making a list can either lead to an action plan so you can have some things changed in your home or maybe make you see value of moving to a more user friendly space.
Even if you are healthy and agile you may find that getting into your home and navigating within it are a little more difficult than in years past. It may be harder to access higher and lower shelves and you are more concerned that you will slip in the bathroom. If you are committed to staying with your home, you must make some modifications to help you age in place.
Here are a few ways to make your home continue to be a safe and comfortable place to live.
- If possible, add at least one no-step entry into your home. You might be able to accomplish this through a modification such as adding a ramp.
- Installing an elevated toilet, or even a higher seat, can make accessing the facilities easier.
- Add grab bars near the toilet and in the bath and shower area to steady yourself.
- Want to make bathing and showering easier? You can add roll in shower with a shower seat, movable showerheads, and a hand held sprayer.
- Replace wall switches with rocker panel switches, make sure they are no more than 36 inches to 40 inches above the floor.
- Add storage at different heights in your closet, an easy fix accomplished by a visit to the closet section at your favorite big box store.
- If accessing rooms is hard because of maneuvering around doors, ask your contractor about pocket doors that slide into the wall.
- Consider lowering your sink and freeing the space below it and installing at least one counter where you can sit and work.
- Have your dishwasher and microwave adjusted to be at a height won’t have to either stoop or reach high.
Aging in place will keep your house livable for a small investment. While some of the things on the list above are costly, or require the input of an architect or other professional, many are manageable if you integrate them into your budget and do them over the course of the next year.
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Roy Thomas SRES is a Senior’s Real Estate Specialist and a REALTOR® with Sutton Group-Professional Realty. Licensed since 1991, much of Roy’s practice is helping retirees with their later in life moves. Roy can be reached at 902-497-3031, by email: RoyThomas@RoyThomas.ca or read other articles online at www.HalifaxSeniorLiving.ca
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|Roy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991 Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. If you are contemplating a move and would like a complimentary copy of Roy’s guide to downsizing entitled “Preparing to Downsize” please click here|