We spend our adult lives making adjustments to our homes, often to accommodate others, especially our children and grandchildren. We decorate bedrooms in themes, cover sharp corners, lock cupboards, block stairs top and bottom and generally ensure we have a safe and comfortable environment. As the years move on and those modifications rapidly become redundant, is it time to consider future-proofing your home for your own needs?
A good place to start is by considering mobility. As age, we inevitably become less agile over time. We slow down, and we sometimes require aids to keep us on the move. With that in mind, there are several things we can do to ensure safe navigation within our homes.
If there’s one thing that will have a lasting effect on physical and mental health, it’s falling over. It isn’t only about the long healing process of broken bones, but more the impact to one’s confidence. We regard the removal of trip hazards as a quick win because it’s so easy to achieve.
Creating space means no tight turns and less chance of catching yourself on a table leg or trailing wire. Ensuring that thresholds are as low profile as possible also makes for a smoother path around your home.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that there may be periods of time where a wheelchair may be required, and the changes above make this a much easier challenge to deal with.
We mentioned trailing wires and by planning ahead, you can ensure that your electrical sockets are exactly where you need them. As handy as they can be, extension leads are a very common trip hazard around the home, so the fewer the better!
In planning for the future, having as many of your needs met on one level of your home makes perfect sense. Of course, not all of us can live in a bungalow! However, there is often the option to create a downstairs bedroom, and some homes are perfect for the installation of a wet room. If you have a garage, these can be re-utilised as an extra room or bathroom/wet room within your home. And properly designed, wet rooms are perfect for easy access to hygiene and sanitary facilities.
Most of us would like to live independently for as long as possible in our advancing years. To be with our loved ones in our own environment is far preferable to even the best care homes (for us anyway!).
It isn’t about the cost of care, or even the availability of suitable accommodation. It’s about living in the style to which you are accustomed, whilst staying safe, maintaining decision-making and dignity in our golden years. A few tweaks and modifications now can make this easily achievable.