Last updated on May 21, 2019 at 01:40 pm
If you’re considering living in your home into retirement, it’s definitely smart to plan out renovations to stay in your home longer.
Many people are choosing to stay in their homes to “age in place,” and not move to assisted living facilities. However, the way your home was set up when you were 30 may not be suitable for your current (and future) needs.
A few modifications to your home can help you live independently for as long as possible. This can also help families remain together, reduce the need to sell a cherished home, and help minimize financial loss from selling a property.
If you do plan to renovate your home, make sure you only hire licensed and insured contractors and have the proper permits required by your local municipalities.
That said, Plymouth Rock Assurance has six ideas to consider (some easy, some more involved).
- Install grab bars
Installing grab bars in bathrooms can help boost your confidence when caring for yourself. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive. Even if you don’t need them all of the time, just having them is important. You can also consider placing grab bars on steps, too. IMPORTANT: make sure the bars are properly installed to handle the maximum amount of weight.
- Install night lights
Battery-powered night lights can be an excellent way to prevent falls. Many night lights simply stick to the wall and automatically come on at night. They light up the floor just enough to see before stepping.
- Remove clutter, but add more seating
Tripping is a risk when there are too many items in and around the home. By removing excess clutter you can clear pathways and reduce the risk of falling. After you remove unnecessary items, add extra seating (like bar stools) to help ensure there’s always a place to sit down when you feel tired.
You can also consider getting rid of area rugs and installing suction-cupped mats in bathrooms to help prevent falls.
- Make the kitchen more accessible
- Install an island that can be moved.
- Lower countertops if a person is in a wheelchair.
- Add pull down water faucets that are easier to reach and turn on
- Renovate the bathroom more thoroughly
For those with less mobility, bathtubs with seats can be a valuable option. Choose a wheelchair friendly shower instead of one with a lip. A comfort-height toilet can also help reduce the risk of falling.
- Transform the ground floor
While it’s more involved, transforming your ground floor to include a bedroom and bathroom can save those with less mobility from having to navigate steps on a regular basis. Other ideas:
- Widen doorways as necessary (to accommodate wheelchairs).
- Remove any lips in the flooring at doorways.
- Make sure it’s easy to get outside by installing ramps, as needed.
These are just a few things to consider and help get you started if you’re thinking about making renovations to stay in your home longer. There are definitely some things not on this list. Tell us about the renovations you made by leaving a comment. If you’re considering some home projects, check out these useful painting tips. Planning on a location change for your retirement? Read about what moving to a “no-tax” state really means.
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