Thursday, October 10, 2019

How to Adapt Your Home as You Get Older

Image Credit: Pexels CC0 Licence 

You may not be getting any younger but if you want to stay in your home for as long as possible, you need to face the facts: getting older often means that your ability will be affected. However, a disability is only ever to do with the space you are in. If you are able to move around and operate within a space without a problem, you are effectively no longer disabled. 

So what should you do to make sure that your home continues to work for you? 

Getting Around

Being able to move around your home and go out as often as you like is really important. If you get stuck inside for a long period of time or have to rely on others to get out, you’re going to go a bit stir crazy in the end - however special you’ve made your home!  

Putting handicap ramps over steps up to your house and around your garden will make it much easier to navigate the terrain with sticks or a walker. If you have stairs, a stairlift could also be a good idea as this will make upstairs more accessible. 

Staying Safe

As you get older, it is well worth doing a few safety checks around the house and putting a few things in place to make sure you’re okay. The kitchen is a good place to start. Take any sharp knives out of your drawers and put them into a visible block instead. You should also consider marking your hob to make the “off” positions as clear as possible. In the bathroom, you should add a mat to reduce your chance of slipping and put grab rails on the wall to support you too. 

Many older people are at risk of falling and most will fall within their own home. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce that risk. For example, you should remove any trip hazards from the floor including loose wires, clutter and any movable rugs (which may be tacked down). You might also consider putting your lights on timers so that you don’t need to fumble around for switches when it gets dark. 

Employing Some Help

Even with a few adaptations, it is always worth looking into a bit more help around the house. Employing a cleaner is a good idea as this will free you up to do more things you enjoy while your house stays in tip top condition. But there are plenty of services you might like to try. 

Bringing someone in to help with your chores more generally is a good idea and there are plenty of services for people who need help with personal care too. Buying ready-made meals will also lighten the burden of cooking and could be a lot easier. 

Staying at home for as long as possible is a preference for most people and it’s vital that you put the changes you need into practice quickly. Don't wait for problems to arise before you solve them - get a jump on it! 

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