Renovate Your Home for Retirement So You Don’t Have to Move!

Home reno shows are hot right now and it’s not just young people being inspired. Many seniors across Canada and the globe wish to continue living in their homes yet they don’t cater to their mobility needs. There’s a growing trend for adults in their fifties to renovate their home with retirement in mind so that as they age, their home will continue to be functional and accessible. Market reports suggest this trend will continue to grow. Baby-boomers want to ‘age in place’ and continue to live their lives in the homes that they know and love.

If you’re looking to make your home retirement-friendly, here’s four points to consider:

Reduce slip hazards

As you get older, you’ll find that your balance isn’t what it used to be and you’re a lot less steady on your feet. This can make you more likely to slip or trip on surfaces that used to cause no issues. Common slip hazards are bathroom tiles, kitchen floors and wooden surfaces. It’s best to replace smooth surfaces like these with textured alternatives that help prevent falls in the elderly. When renovating a bathroom or kitchen there’s a lot that can go wrong so it’s ideal to use professional tradespeople who can also give you advice. Look for smaller tiles for the bathroom, stone floors for the kitchen and carpets to replace slippery wooden flooring. You might also consider preemptively installing handles for better stability.

Make everywhere more accessible

One of the biggest challenges ageing homeowners face is making their home accessible. Thankfully, there’s now Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC) that seniors may qualify for. As you become older, you may require the aid of a walking stick or a wheelchair to get around. This presents a whole host of problems in moving around your house. You may need to widening your doorframes so it’s possible to continue to use every room in your home, no matter what your physical condition may be.

Keep usability in mind

There are other usability issues to consider that you may never have occurred to you. For example, replacing your kitchen counters with lower counter tops so that you can prepare food from a seated position. This means that if you are in a wheelchair or find it difficult to stand for too long, you can still make use of your kitchen.

In the bathroom, you may need your sink and mirror lowered, light switches relocated to a more easily reached height and replace your bathtub or enclosed shower unit with a suitable shower.

You may also need to replace door knobs with door handles which are easier for arthritic hands to grasp. All of these changes will ensure that you can continue to use your home well into old age.

Go universal

The ‘universal design’ is an interior design concept that is put together to provide the easiest functionality for people of all ages and capabilities, and it is deliberately designed to remain aesthetic appealing and be adaptable for old age.

For example, raising the height of plug outlets to 24 inches means that you can plug things in without having to bend down too often and strain your back. Redesigning the kitchen to have counters at different heights allows everyone to work at a level that is comfortable for them, and having a fridge freezer unit where the fridge is at the top and the freezer at the bottom allows for an effective, easy-use kitchen.

While every persons needs will vary, we trust these tips have been helpful and shown you it’s possible to renovate your home and avoid moving out in your old age. The good news is you don’t need to make all the changes all at once either. You can make the required changes to your home as you need to.


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