Many people today move to senior living complexes or if ill to nursing homes. But if you are in fair health and want to continue to live in your own home. There are ways to accomplish that well up into old age. When remodeling or updating, think of what you will need later in life and apply it now.
Living at home in late life
We begin aging the day we are born. DeSota didn’t find the fountain of youth although in the first bloom of young love it seems he might have. We know from the get go that we will never get old like our mothers and grandmothers. We think we will live forever. Nothing else can be believable. But the years come and go. Today there are 77 million baby boomers coming of age for Medicare. The good news is there are more services and products for them available than ever before and more people are living in their own homes well into old age.
Most of us want to stay in our own homes with as much independence as possible. What is needed is a comfortable home that can be easily lived in by older people who may be somewhat disabled. A good plan is a home that’s one level with good indoor and outdoor lighting. To get in and out of the house a ramp will be needed if a wheelchair is in use. Strong handrails should be in place on the steps . All doors should be wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through. When any remodeling is taking place, it’s much less expensive to put these features in place at that time. It will be a life saver later.
When buying a new dishwasher have the installer raise it to a height to prevent having to bend over. It will save your back now and also in the future when bending will be much harder. Prepare cabinets with slide out shelves and a pull out cutting board. When buying a new refrigerator, choose one with pull out shelves and a front water dispenser. A cook stove with controls on the front is better than having to reach across the stove top. Also change your small knobs on cabinets to large ones.
You probably won’t do all this at a young age but in middle age and upward, think about the future when you buy new appliances or do any remodeling. In this way you will have your house ready when and if you decide to stay in your own home as an elderly person.
For the bathroom as an elderly person you will need grab bars in the shower and lever handles on faucets. A hand held shower would be ideal for sitting or standing. Curbless shower, anti scald temperature, entry doors, 35 inches and higher toilets would all be approiate.
If you plan to continue living in your present house in your old age, remember these options when you remodel your home now. In that way expense will be saved and your home will be ready for you when you need it.