Age waits for no one and many of the side effects of having a long and happy life can make it more difficult to live safely alone. But there are plenty of quick and easy fixes that can modify your home to best support your abilities. Whether you’re eyes have seen better days or you get weak in the knees, keep reading for a few ideas on how to comfortably — and safely — age in place if you suffer with any of the most common age-related issues.
There are numerous causes of vision loss. Cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration are all common in people in people age 55 and older. American Family Physician notes that approximately 33 percent of older adults experience some form of vision loss by retirement age.
Home modifications that can circumvent many of the downfalls of failing eyesight are:
- Change fluorescent lighting to incandescent lighting
- Install motion or sound-activated lights around the exterior of the home
- Paint stairs in contrasting colors
- Add strip lighting under cabinets and countertops
- Add task lighting to closets
- Swap slide style thermostat for one with a large digital display
- Limit glare throughout the home
The Journals of Gerontology explains that mobility is, “A key hallmark of functional aging.” But when the functions of mobility – walking, bending and lifting – become compromised, it is more difficult to live alone.
Home improvements to consider include:
- Installing a ramp at the most-used point of entry and exit
- Adding a stair lift if you live in a multi-story home (costs $3,000 – $5,000 to have installed)
- Swapping carpet for hardwood, limiting floor transitions
- Installing a walk-in bathtub or no-profile shower
- Handrails/safety grab bars in bathroom
- Hand-held shower head and shower bench
When you’re hearing isn’t quite what it used to be, talk to your doctor about finding a hearing aid that works right for you. At home, there are a few things you can do help offset a muffled outside world.
- Improve room acoustics with strategic furniture placement
- Install home intercom system and cameras
- Home security systems should feature physical indicators, such as a vibrating pager
Home modifications when you have dementia may help ease the burden of care for your friends and family members. While it is not advisable to live alone if you have progressive dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you can extend your independence by making a few simple changes to your lifestyle.
Home modifications for elderly people with dementia include:
- Hang signs indicating the purpose of each room
- Add high-profile toilet for comfort
- Don’t smoke inside the home
- Remove door locks from bedroom and bathroom
- Install a fence around the perimeter of the home to prevent wandering
- Modify kitchen cabinets for use as a dry-erase board for leaving notes
- Lower hot water heater to less than 120°
- Paint color-contrasting walls and floors
If you’re in the market for a new, smaller, home, keep your current medical conditions in mind when discussing your needs with your Realtor. The median sales price in Ponte Vedra Beach is $491,250, but smaller homes and condos may be much less. Keep an eye on local listings in the weeks and months before you plan to initiate a move so you’ll have a better idea of location and home style that best suits your needs. If you can’t find a home that checks every box, you can always remodel with mobility in mind.
Aging isn’t all fun and games, no matter what the grand-kids would have you believe. But issues such as hearing loss and lowered mobility don’t have to get in the way of your independence.
Article provided by Ray Flynn from DIYGuys.net.