BAY VIEW, MICHIGAN / UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 17, 2017: An elegant yellow stucco summer cottage, with red trim, and a wheelchair ramp, in Bay View.
Remodeling Tips

What Is Aging In Place, And How Can You Achieve It?

As we get older, our physical needs change. Our mobility shifts and we need to find ways to adapt our lifestyles to match our abilities and needs. Making adjustments around your home to satisfy these new necessities is called “aging in place.” Essentially, this means that a person is able to live in the home of their choice and have all of their needs met.

What Kinds Of Adjustments Are There?

Every room in your home can be modified to better accommodate someone who is aging. Many things that people take for granted about their lives would need to be addressed in the home of someone who is working to age in place. From easy access cabinetry to widening doors, there’s a lot that can be done to improve access and functionality for elderly residents. Here are a few examples of common projects for people looking to age in place.

Outdoor Remodeling

Being able to easily get into your home is a top priority for most people, and often one of the first steps taken when adapting a home. Pathways should be leveled and clear of any overgrowth. Stairs are an obstacle to anyone with mobility challenges, so ramps are a must. 

One part of landscaping that many people overlook is lighting. Installing downward facing lights along the edges of the path makes it easier to see obstacles and casts fewer shadows.

Pathways Through The Home

Ensuring that there are clear paths through the home so that it’s easy to navigate is key. Wide doorways, deliberately positioned furniture, and even grab bars throughout the home are all good options. 

When it comes to furniture, arranging it in such a way that there is plenty of open space is key. Doorways can be widened to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs. Door handles can be switched to make it easier to open without having to wrap a hand around a knob. Grab bars installed next to places where seating is placed can also go a long way towards easing the transition.

Asian depressed elderly woman patients lying on bed looking out the window in hospital. Elderly woman patients is glad recovered from the illness.

A Safe Place To Sleep

Bedrooms should be comfortable regardless of the mobility of the person in them. When redesigning a bedroom, consider some of the same points as general living spaces when it comes to open areas and grab bars. Additionally, beds can be outfitted with guards to prevent rolling out of bed unexpectedly. Some specially designed beds can adjust to help people sit up and get out of bed more easily.

One major consideration that comes into play is the sturdiness of the furniture, especially those surrounding the bed. When you’re getting into or out of bed, you want to make sure that anything you use for support doesn’t shift or tip. A solid bedside table that doesn’t slide when leaned on is a must.

Senior woman and her attractive daughter spending time together at home. Cooking together on kitchen. Happy Mothers' Day.

The Accessible Kitchen

The kitchen is the part of the home that faces a lot of scrutiny when adapting to aging residents. Cabinets need to be lowered, additional lighting is sometimes necessary, and easy to clean, no-slip flooring are must haves in the kitchen. Avoiding any kind of slip or trip should be a top priority, as falls are the leading cause of death in people over 65 at home.

Another plan of attack is to make the kitchen as easy to clean as possible. Anywhere you prepare food should be clean to avoid foodborne illnesses. Regularly setting time aside to give the countertops and dish towels a good wash is a good idea for any kitchen, but especially one of someone who is choosing to age in place.

These are only a few of the many many ways that you can remodel and adjust a home to adapt to the changing needs of someone aging in place. Talking with a professional contractor about what kinds of remodels work best for your home is highly recommended. They will be able to make measurements, offer suggestions, and give quotes on the kind of work that needs to be done. 

When you’re happy in the home you’re in, shouldn’t you try to make it work for you as long as you’re there? Give the remodeling experts at Eagle Construction & Remodeling a call to see what they can do for you and your home.

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