Even if you are a relatively young person who has just recently bought a home, you should read this article. Not only will it help you prepare for your own future, but it will help you prepare other possibilities as well.
Even if you’re currently in perfect health, that won’t last forever. Someday you’re going to have trouble getting up and down the stairs or climbing in and out of the tub. It’s better to make preparations while you’re still young and able than when you’re older and presented with very little options.
Plus, let’s not forget the growing occurrence of elderly family members who end up moving in with their children, at least for a temporary period of time. It’s easier to make a few adjustments now than to attempt to reconstruct your home later. So here are a few things to keep in mind:
1.) Consider the layout. Even if you have steps in your home (the worst of all home features for the elderly), there may be no way around it. However, if everything that could be needed were on one level, there would really be no need for the steps anyways. So if you’re thinking of redoing the main level, consider adding a bathroom and laundry facilities while you’re at it.
2.) Use the right materials. There’s a reason why there’s so much carpet in homes with elderly folks; it’s soft. It’s easier to maneuver on and it’s much more forgiving should someone take a tumble. There’s nothing wrong with a little hardwood here and there (no one wants carpet in the bathroom), but it’s important that these services don’t become slippery when wet or overly hot or cold during the months with more extreme weather.
3.) Eliminate mobility hindrances. Even if you don’t end up using a wheelchair, you’re sure to use other things to help you get around, and narrow doorways and steps (again) are going to be a burden in the future. Keep doorways wide and make sure any thresholds have sloped edges. Add handrails where possible. And keep in mind, you don’t have to have old, nasty looking handrails. Keep them with the look and theme of your home and they’ll fit in perfectly with your current décor.
4.) Add additional safety equipment. Believe it or not, there will come a time when you can’t simply jump off your couch and run down the street chasing a potential peeping tom. And when that time comes, you’ll be happy with the additional security measures you’ve installed over the years. That means more flood lights and possibly even a home alarm system.
5.) Better communication techniques. In addition to added alarms and security measures, communication will be a top priority. Think about installing an intercom system that lets a person on the bottom floor communicate clearly with a person on the top floor (not everyone has their cell phone on them at all times).