Ah, retirement. It’s a beautiful time that you work towards for most of your adult life, saving money and investing it so that you have plenty left over once you quit working. But one thing you may not have considered when planning for your retirement is the state of your home. Sure, it works great for you now, but how about in 20 years?
You’ve spent your life preparing financially for your golden years, but don’t forget to prepare your home too. Issues such as limited mobility, hearing loss and confusion are a natural part of the aging process, and there are home modifications that you can make now that will help you stay in your home for much longer. Throw out those retirement home pamphlets and keep reading to learn how you can easily modify your home for your future.
Your home may seem roomy now, but if you ever need a walker or wheelchair, you may start to feel differently. While these devices are super helpful for giving you back your independence, most modern homes aren’t designed with them in mind. But luckily, there are a variety of home upgrades you can make to give you the extra assistance you may need down the line.
Showering, for example, is one area where you will want to maintain your independence for as long as you can. Installing grab bars and a stool to your shower is one easy way to make this possible. If you are looking for a more in-depth upgrade, consider upgrading to a walk-in tub to give yourself the gift of relaxation and ease.
Other quick fixes you can make to your home include stabilizing any off-balance chairs, lowering your bed and adding in more lighting or grab bars to your stairs (if you have any). This way, you can reduce your risks of accidentally slipping and falling while trying to get around your home. If you are worried about getting injured and being unable to call for help, make sure to add a phone to every room of the house so that you can always get assistance when you need it.
Issues with Hearing or Vision
Diminishing hearing and eyesight are common issues for the elderly. However, many with these issues are able to age in place thanks to recent advancements in technology and a few home modifications. The main issues posed by these ailments are potential intruders, fires or injuries from unseen items.
To help counteract some of the issues you might face with limited vision or hearing, it’s important to upgrade your security system. Adding in a smart doorbell, security cameras and alarm system can provide you with multiple alert types so you never miss activity on your property. Most devices can be set up to alert you via sound, light or vibration, allowing you to customize your items to fit your needs.
Other items that could use an upgrade include your fire alarms and lighting. While painting your walls a bright, matte color will help with visibility, the best way to increase what you can see is by adding more light throughout your home. You can even paint on glow in the dark paint on your light switches to help you find them easily each night.
Memory Loss or Confusion
You may be asking yourself: how can I upgrade my home to help with memory and confusion issues? While it may seem like nothing can be done, a few minor changes to your lifestyle and home can make a huge impact on your life should these issues begin to arise.
To help prevent flooding or gas leaks from forgetting to turn off appliances, it’s a smart move to install automatic shut offs or motion detectors to your stove, sinks and other kitchen devices. You can also add in spring-loaded door hinges to every external door to make sure they automatically shut every time you enter and exit your home.
Smart devices come in handy here too, by reminding you to take your medication or of upcoming appointments. Consider purchasing a smart speaker such as Google Home or Alexa, and let it keep track of your schedule and remind you of important tasks. This way, you don’t run the risk of losing important written reminders or forgetting to take your meds each day.
Getting older should be celebrated – not feared. And you can help yourself transition into this new phase of life with ease, as long as you take a little time to prep your home beforehand. If you are interested in additional tips for living a better life as a senior, or want more expert advice on home modifications, you can check out Hippo’s blog for plenty of home improvement content.