Did you know that 76% of Americans 50 years and older prefer aging in place? Yet, many of them believe this is more of a dream than a realistic goal. In many instances, their homes are not well constructed for senior living. It may have many floors with steps, cramped bathroom spaces and no bedrooms on the ground floors. Subsequently, many seniors find that the dream home of their high-earning years become hazardous for retirement.
People on a very tight budget should start with lighting. Lighting improves visibility in a home, which improves safety. Using sensor-activated LED lights is one way to resolve poor lighting issues without the need for seniors to fumble with light controls. Adding lighting in dark rooms that previously had none is also a wonderful idea. A more expensive option is to find ways to add natural light with skylights and larger windows.
In the past, wet rooms were commonly used in spas and luxury hotels. Then high-end homes began to incorporate them in their designs. A surprising trend is that the elderly also began to use wet rooms for aging in place. Wet room designs make it easy to access the shower without the need to step up or over boundaries. A slightly angled floor funnels the water to a drain. Flooring with adequate friction makes it safe for walking on and rolling wheels on even when wet.
The wet room isn’t the only area in the house that could use a flooring upgrade. As a start, consider removing and resolving all trip hazards on the floors. This includes everything from rugs to lifted wood panels. Carpets may seem safer to buffer a fall, but it can make it much more difficult to use a walker or wheelchair. Consider laminate floors with enough friction to reduce slipping instead.
Working with a qualified construction company can help seniors achieve their goals of aging in place. It also gives adult children peace of mind regarding their parents’ safety.