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4 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Aging in Place!

Considering only 1% of homes are conducive to aging in place naturally, how do you prepare yours?

 

1. The Great Outdoors

Mobility is one of the biggest challenges that comes with aging, though the need to be able to move around in certain areas may not necessarily change. When you’re thinking of doing a full house renovation that is meant to account for the effects of aging, you want to consider options that make the neighborhood feel easier to reach.

A sense of community and belonging becomes greater with age, and this is why certain features such as wraparound decks, container gardens, covered entrances, etc. foster that sense of connection to the outside.

Take the wraparound deck, for example, when level with the first floor. With this in place, it becomes much easier to access the various entrances of the home.

Similarly, covered entrances are great at mitigating snow or water buildup on porches, which enhances the house’s safety factor.

 

2. Make It More “You”

Before it became necessary to think about aging in place, your design ideas likely considered you and your stylistic choices. When it comes to strategizing how one will make the home more accessible with the effects of aging, that line of thinking that has the homeowner in mind needs to be taken to the next level.

Effectively, you want to avoid blindly setting up a bunch of features, additions, and removals that come from a generic list because they sound trendy. Instead, what you want to do is take some time to think about the priorities you have in your life and what your overall lifestyle will look like.

Whether it’s room additions, garage conversions, or even a whole bathroom renovation, allow yourself and your needs to be at the forefront of any modification that is to be made.

It could be something that’s easy to use or reach now that you foresee being a potential challenge later. Alternatively, there may simply be spaces within your home that you just aren’t using to their full potential that could be converted to something else that is more usable.

 

3. Brightness and Contrast

Lighting is something that people seem to not understand the importance of, unfortunately. Consider that a 60-year-old thought to be healthy will need just about twice as much light for reading as a 20-year-old who’s considered to be healthy. By the time that person reaches 80 years old, the requirement becomes three times as much as the 20-year-old.

Combine this with the fact that good lighting is known to improve mood, attention span, alertness, etc. Natural light is also an effective way to fight off depression. With all of this in mind, you should be getting an understanding of how critical appropriate lighting will be as the process of aging continues.

This means that spaces will need ample windows, glass doors, skylights, and more. Even the way the home is painted is a big consideration. With darker colors, more light is absorbed, meaning that visibility becomes reduced, especially since sunlight becomes less as the day goes on. Instead, you want to consider lighter colors that are better at reflecting light and creating a more visually functional space.

Contrast and color perception get worse with age, meaning that being able to see outlines easily and differentiating between hues becomes more difficult. Therefore, visual demarcations are more important than ever. Those all-white bathrooms and kitchens are not such a good idea.

Vary things up a bit, perhaps with some countertop material or color that drastically differs from the floors. Sometimes, changing elements altogether is necessary to achieve this, but there is also the more cost-effective option of changing the color of existing elements with a coat of paint.

 

4. The Ease of Switches

Light switches are used daily for obvious reasons, though when you’re younger you may not realize how difficult they can be to operate. With age comes a loss in strength, and that means it becomes possible to feel the difference in effort between a rocker light switch and a standard toggle switch.

This means that having rocker switches is a better idea for aging in place. Another good idea is to ensure that the electrical outlets and switches around the home are in a bit of a darker color that offers a better contrast against the lighter-colored walls.

Finally, you want to think about the height of outlets and switches. Effectively, you don’t want anything so high up that you struggle to reach it, but you also don’t want anything that’s so far down that extreme bending must occur.

 

Wrapping Up

Depending on the initial state of a home, making design considerations for aging in place can be very simple or complicated. Regardless of which side of the fence the work effort is, Paragon Builders is here to ensure that you have the most beautiful and functional home possible.

The excellent service delivery and designs come from over a decade of experience, meaning you’ll enjoy every bit of the premium service that you pay for.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Meant By “Aging in Place?”

Aging in place is a term that speaks to being able to live in our community comfortably, independently, and safely, regardless of ability, income, or age.

 

What’s the Most Important Aspect of Aging in Place?

The greatest consideration here, which you can probably deduce from some of the recommended changes, is preserving a sense of independence. Older adults are still adults, and it can be world-shattering to lose what used to be basic functionality.

 

What Must Be Done to Prepare a Home for Older Adults?

What the answer is will be different from one older adult to the next. For example, someone who can walk freely without assistance will tend to have fewer mobility limitations than someone who needs a scooter. Therefore, the accessibility requirements would be different for both.

In general, though, some of the typical adjustments include handrails for steps, ramp installations, lighting adjustments, lightweight doors, etcetera.

 

What Are Some of the Hazards That Need to Consider When Designing for Aging in Place?

Some of the typical hazards that must be considered include slippery floors, hard-to-reach items, loose carpeting, and stairs.

John Doe
John Doe

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