As the population ages, many homeowners are obligated to move out of their homes to live somewhere with the proper supports to accommodate them. Simple home modifications can be made so people are able to stay in their homes longer. This is considered “aging-in-place” which is the ability to remain in your own home comfortably, independently, and safely regardless of age, mobility, and income.
Many seniors would rather stay in their own homes then move to a long-term care facility or assisted living facility. Aging-in-place renovation can easily assist with this. Simple modifications when you are in process of renovating, that may not be visible to house guests, can provide support as the resident ages. Aging-in-place will improve quality of life, maintain familiar surroundings, and increase life satisfaction.
When renovating your home, some things to consider are wide doorways, accessible countertops, replacing door knobs with lever handles, replacing standard light switches with toggle switches, non-slip flooring, increased lighting, and sturdy handrails.
Modifications like these will allow for mobility and increased floor space for mobility devices. Lowered countertops with an open bottom allows for easy access for those with a wheelchair, or those who prefer to sit when completing tasks.
Kitchen and bathroom modifications are most important because these are the main spaces in a home. In a bathroom, grab bars can be installed for safety. Replacing a bathtub with a walk-in shower, or an easy access walk-in tub can beneficial to reduce falls. Finally, an accessible vanity should be considered for ease of access.
In the kitchen, having drawers instead of cabinets, an elevated dishwasher, replacing cabinet knobs with door pulls, and having a lever-handled faucet are all simple modifications that can make a substantial difference for those who wish to age-in-place.
Aging-in-place modifications are a great implementation to the home. If you or your family is looking to renovate your home, consider implementing these strategies to start planning for your future accessibility needs.
By Carley Mulligan
ARTium Design Build Inc. has been designing and building exception spaces since 1999. We are thrilled to have Carley Mulligan as part of our Interior Design team this summer. Carley has just completed her third year of the Honours Bachelor of Interior Design program at Fanshawe College. Carley is interested in residential design and the power of renovation!