We all know that aging comes with wrinkles and gray hair. However, don’t forget aging sometimes come with some physical limitations such as reduced vision, reduced muscle strength and mobility, reduced hearing, and an increase in the risk of falls.
This means while planning for your dream house or home renovation, the needs of the children will be different from the adult. While the adult needs also change as they age most especially if they are disabled.
That is you why you need to take a pause, consider the needs of the individual person in the home, and harness the concept of universal design to make your home a glorious one that everyone will love.
Broader doorways, easily accessible switches, and door handle, broader stairs, bathroom, and bedrooms, easy to reach cupboards, shelves, and furniture. Unfortunately, these are the many features that traditional home builders most times do not consider when building a home. Thanks to accessible home builders and renovators that are catering to the need of the aged or disable people.
Whether you planning to build or h, the option is to make it accessible for your beloved seniors and meets their needs. We have compiled a list of important tips to inspire you on the modifications you can make on you or your loved ones’ home. You don’t want to miss out on these!
Things to consider for accessible or handicapped home modifications
There are certain things to put in mind while designing or modifying accessible housing.
Meeting specific needs: Different needs might require different features, hence it is important to modify the home to the specifications and requirements of the people. While some might simply be adding tub seat in the bathroom, a wheelchair user might require a stringent wheelchair accessible style house plans. Know what can or can’t be done.
Risk of home hazards: The flooring, the stairs, hard or slippery surfaces, bathrooms, know places in your house that is prone to fall, slip, or trip. Make your home safe and risk-free for your seniors.
Fatigue: Oldies most times suffer from tiredness and fatigue. Hence, furniture, home appliances should be easily accessible and comfortable to use for them. safety and comfort come first when considering house design for a disabled person or seniors.
Home Maintenance: Consider home renovation that can help home maintenance and cleaning a hassle-free one.
Basic home modifications
Here are basic home modifications to ensure safety:
Lightning: Seniors tend to suffer from blurred visions as they aged. Therefore, it is important the house of seniors is well lit including the stairways and house exteriors to avoid accidents and falls. Opts for more energy-efficient light sources or recessed lightning for cabinets, cupboards, or closets.
Put grab bars or rails around the house: Put rails around the home for support and mobility. This is especially important for seniors with cognitive dysfunction or dementia.
Add user-friendly fixtures: Replace doorknobs with levers for easier grip when opening a door. Use an automated garage door to ensure safety and ease of use. Go for sparkling faucets with easy to use lever handles for your faucets. All these can make a huge impact in regards to safety and comfort for the aged.
Flooring: Flooring is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to fall in the home. That is why it is very crucial to pay attention to the flooring. Your best bet is to install anti-slip flooring through the home or make use of double-faced thick carpet especially for a house design for a disabled person
Advance home modification
Selection of home builder or renovator
While there are simple things you can do yourself, getting professional help is always the best option to get things done. While at it, it is crucial to get yourself a builder or home renovator that will meet your requirement and specific need. Find someone who has experience in building a house for a disabled person or aging in place. Moreover, the person must be highly knowledgeable and must be able to address concerns and give solutions. A good rule of thumb is to pay a frequent visit to the building site just to be sure the work carried out is in line with what you wanted.
● Ensure the bathroom is located on the main floor of the home, if not, consider adding a bathroom to the main floor to eliminate the need to climb the stairs.
● Allow enough space in the bathroom with a wider entrance especially if you have seniors using canes, wheelchairs, or other assistive devices.
● Ditch bathtubs for roll-in-shoers for elderly homeowners to remove the hassle of getting over the side of a tub
● Get a grab bar. Having grab bars means you will not be violating ADA building codes but also ensure the safety of your loved ones.
● Lower handle, tap positions for easy access and usability.
● Install a toilet seat with proper height or consider a commode chair to avoid your senior calling for assistance while using the toilet.
● Most of the time is spent in the bathroom modifications. Hence it is better to create it on the main floor of the home for easy accessibility.
● Install bed rails for easy getting in and out of bed
● Ensure proper lighting of the closets especially for those with failing visions.
● Slide-out shelves are more preferable for seniors. No more bending over or reaching too far.
● Install lowered kitchen sinks for easy access.
● Ensure worktops are comfortable for use either in sitting or standing positions.
● Get home appliances such as refrigerators that are suitable for your needs. With advancements in designs and styles, getting one shouldn’t be difficult.