Cracks and wrinkles; weathered bones; wear and tear; a little facelift needed here and there. While this may sound reminiscent of your latest doctor’s visit, we’re actually talking about your home – and you two may have more in common than you originally thought.
Our homes provide us with a solid foundation. The heart of the home serves as a comforting place to gather. The structure sets an example of how to weather whatever storm or hardships come our way. Wear and tear from trying to withstand the test of time is normal, but, if we don’t provide our home with the proper care as it ages, it can wither away.
And while our homes may not benefit from an anti-aging serum, per se, there are some remedies we can try so our home can be there for us for the long haul. As a House Hacks Tips reader, you already know a thing or two about properly maintaining your home. But what about prepping your home to age with you? Read on for our team’s tips and suggestions to help your home age right alongside you.
When it comes to age-proofing your home, bathroom updates are essential. Afterall, without the proper safety aids in place, the slippery nature of a bathroom could turn disastrous.
To help with balance and getting around in the bathroom, either install handlebars and rails on your walls now, or leave enough wall space to be able to do so in the future. You’ll also want to be sure your sink, shower and toilet are accessible to people of all ages, heights and mobility. For example, a higher-elevated toilet and a curbless walk-in shower area are ideal for if, or when, you’ll need to access your bathroom in a wheelchair or with limited mobility.
We all spend a majority of our time at home in the kitchen, so in order to age with our homes, it’s worth the investment to be sure the kitchen can remain easy to navigate.
If you don’t already have an open design in place, now’s the time to begin aiming for a renovation that can accommodate ease of moving around. This includes varying counter heights that can be reached by those with more limited mobility, and incorporating specific design elements, like pullout or open shelving, to make items more accessible.
A common characteristic of getting older is that moving around becomes more difficult. Do future-you a favor by focusing on how you’ll be able to continue accessing your home as you age in place.
While you don’t need to install a ramp at every door, it’s a good idea to focus on ensuring at least one core entryway to your home is aging-accessible. If you have front stairs, this means considering a way to create at least one no-step, covered entry into your home. This helps minimize the risk of a fall, while protecting your entry from weather elements that could be dangerous, like water, snow, or ice.
It’s also worth adding a bench or seating area by your front door to help balance as you put on or remove your shoes, and be sure all entryways are clear of clutter to avoid tripping.
There’s no greater comfort than the comfort of home, and thankfully, with a few preventative updates, we can ensure that aging in the space we love most is possible. If you’re prepping your home to age along with you, what projects are you tackling first? Share with us in the comments!