Its human nature to grow attached to the place you call home. Moving into a new house and building lifelong memories is a natural progression. Through human history, many people have lived in one house their entire lives. Over the last couple of decades though, frequent relocation, due to jobs and other factors, made permanent living in one place less and less favorable. But the trend seems to be returning now, as many have expressed a growing interest in aging in the homes they live in.
In order for this concept to be practical, you must ensure the following factors exist: community, safety, independence, comfort, stability, and age. Your home should be able to accommodate you throughout different phases of aging.
Aging is a natural phenomenon that you should readily accept if you’ve decided on living in a forever home. Here are a few things you would want to incorporate in your home to make sure it stays convenient and suited to your needs until the very end:
Having a downstairs bedroom is useful for many reasons. Most importantly, it allows aging to be less challenging. Stairs are notorious for making the elderly dread climbing them. In fact, they’re also inconvenient for disabled or injured people. A bedroom downstairs can be a perk for visiting parents or grandparents. Until its primary purpose is served, it can be used for many other things, like a storage area, a guest room, or a healing room for those suffering from a bad sprain, etc.
There is a standard size for doorways in the United States. They fall under the regular building code and are typically 6 feet tall, and 28 to 32 inches wide. New constructions may not follow this code and employ measurements based on their needs. Usually, a comfortable 36-inch wide doorway is good enough. But it is better to use a width that allows wheelchair mobility. If you have bulky furniture that you plan on keeping, a wide doorway will work as easy access to move that around, as well.
Stairs, although serving functional purposes, are also a design statement. But most importantly, they must be built in a fashion that allows the elderly access to top floors. There are building codes in place for the stairs. However, you can consult with your contractor and get a much gentler ratio of height and tread for each stair. Shorter rises take less energy for people to mount themselves on the steps one by one. For improved safety, you can opt for a wider staircase as it will allow you to prop up rails on either of the sides. Stairs and doorways are usually permanent constructions that are difficult to revamp and are expensive, as well.
Wide stairways aren’t the only solution to improving movement in the house for the elderly or the disabled. Setting elevators for homes in convenient spots is also a useful and beneficial idea. This, especially, comes in handy when a person is too drained of energy to climb up the stairs. It is good for both occasional and regular use. According to statistics, more and more people face mobility issues as they advance in ages. In such situations, it is best to opt for a residential elevator that offers convenience and safety of operations. A home elevator can make your trips smooth and secure even in the most unlikely circumstances. One of its perks is a rechargeable battery that will allow it to remain functional, even in midst of a power outage.
Having heard of numerous bathroom-related incidents, you probably know by now that bathrooms can be the most dangerous of all places. The slippery tiles and the pan in the shower area, pose safety hazards for family members of all ages, but most likely for the elderly. You can explore safe bathroom building ideas to ensure these hazards are eliminated with the right hardware and design.
Aging is a serious concern that should be addressed well in advance so that your new home is highly adaptable and safe. It should be able to sustain you well into the future. If you’re someone who takes his responsibility of caring for his parents and grandparents seriously, you’ll find much benefit in this article that speaks about aging with love.