How to Prepare Your Home to Allow You to Age in Place

No matter your age, it is never too soon to start thinking about how you can adapt your home to better meet your needs as you age. This might include thinking about the kinds of modifications that will make it safer for you. If you are thinking about making any type of upgrade now, take some time to consider a few factors.

Add a Home Lift

As you get older, you may find it harder to travel between levels in your home. One way to combat this is by adding a home lift. They tend to be sturdier and more attractive than other mobility options for the home. With the Stiltz domestic lift, it is a long-lasting option that will help you easily transition between levels.

Choose Low-Maintenance Flooring

When it comes to flooring, your top considerations should be maintenance and comfort. Older adults often have a few conditions that could affect how they walk, meaning flooring should be comfortable. You may enjoy carpet right now, but it is challenging to keep carpet clean and could impact the ease of using a walker or wheelchair. 

While a smooth hardwood may look beautiful, it can also be slippery, and you don’t want a slipping hazard when you are older. If you do enjoy the look of hardwood, consider more of a matte finish or something that has more texture. If you use an area rug, make sure it has a non-slip backing and be prepared to remove it if it becomes a tripping hazard when you are older.

Keep Things Bright

Natural light can improve overall health and older adults need more light to be able to see than younger people do, so make sure you prepare by installing more light whenever possible. If you can, ensure you have natural light in your home. It’s a good idea to have plenty of windows and even skylights to allow the sunshine to come in. Walk around the outside of your home to see if any trees or shrubbery are blocking windows, and if so, be sure to trim them. 

Consider painting interiors in lighter colors because darker ones tend to absorb the light. You can also add more lamps in your rooms if the overhead lighting is not sufficient. You can find reading lamps that are brighter than traditional lamps, which can help with close work like puzzles, sewing, or reading. For difficult to reach lights, consider installing LED bulbs. These tend to last longer, reducing the number of times you need to access them.

Add More Contrast

As you get older, it will be harder to perceive contrast and color, which means it might be more challenging to see the outlines of items. When you come in from a bright, sunny day, it will take longer for your eyes to adjust to the change. Instead of creating all-white rooms, consider picking options with more contrast. Choose different color counters and floors and ensure the color of your furniture is different enough form the carpet or flooring. Handrails should be either darker or lighter than the walls they are attached to.