No one is looking forward to growing older, but there isn’t much you can do about it except embracing the idea and finding the silver lining in this situation. Retirement years come with some perks too, including having a lot of spare time to travel, play sports, practice your favorite hobbies or simply spend quality time with your grandchildren.
One of the major downsides you will experience as a senior is reduced mobility, so you need to understand that some things will have to change around the house. Keep in mind that you won’t be performing all the house chores without getting tired or risking some injuries.
Thus, in order to stay safe and healthy, we suggest you bring some improvements to your home and make it more senior-friendly.
Eliminate steps from the front entrance
No-step entries are not only easier to manage but represent a great solution for people with disabilities or for elders who have a hard time climbing them all day long. If, however, the house is built on a solid foundation and you cannot bring the ground to the entrance level, we suggest replacing the stairs with a ramp.
This will provide easy access for people of all ages and will even reduce the risk of injuries when the sidewalk gets slippery during fall and winter.
Consider investing in a garage lift
Although it may be a little expensive, this is an accessible solution for people who spend most of their time in the garage, working or arranging tools. A garage lift allows people who use a wheelchair or can’t move too well to get easy access to the inside of the home without having to deal with stairs.
If you have the possibility, you may want to move to a one-story building that is not only more convenient to look after but also easier to handle. People with reduced mobility have a hard time going upstairs and downstairs a few times a day to clean or get changed in their bedrooms, which can easily increase the likelihood of domestic accidents.
If you cannot move into an apartment or a one-story house, you might at least consider switching the master bedroom upstairs with a more accessible room downstairs. This will allow you to reach all your belongings easier, without having to climb the stairs every time.
Improve your bathroom
You spend at least one hour a day in your bathroom, so why not make it as comfortable and senior-friendly as possible? There are various ways to do so but let’s start with the necessity of a walk-in shower. Although you may enjoy taking long baths, bathtubs are not very practical if you just had surgery or have a hard time flexing and stretching.
The best way to avoid accidents in the bathroom is to replace your old tiles with porous, anti-slip floors and switch from a bathtub or a regular shower cabin to a walk-in shower. The latter doesn’t have any stairs and is very practical. You won’t have to bend, flex or stay in uncomfortable positions while showering.
Elevated toilets and grab bars around them are other practical solutions that won’t cost too much but will certainly increase the level of comfort.
Prepare for the worst
There will be times when your health condition won’t allow you to move too well, and it’s important not to panic.