Making a home that is both suited to how you live now and how you will likely live in the future can be challenging. However, by preparing your home early with adaptations that can help in old age can provide a stress-free transition.
Replace traditional bathrooms with wet rooms
Wet rooms are becoming all the rage nowadays – considered to be the perfect shower space, wet rooms come laden with advantages beyond being more accessible in your later years – as well as adding value to your home in the meantime.
Wet rooms are essentially large shower rooms, where the entirety of the room is tiled. Part of the room is on a small decline, so as to allow water to drain, but otherwise works as if it is a traditional bathroom. If fitted properly, a wet room provides better protection for the foundation flooring under the tiles than a traditional bathroom does and has the added advantage of being much easier to clean.
Wet rooms are perfect for smaller spaces, where removing the bath frees up a significant amount of space. As you age, further adjustments such as a chair can be added to make the room all the more accessible.
It goes without saying that tiling your entire bathroom can be considerably costly – wet rooms must be tiled from floor to ceiling and if this is not done properly and to a high standard, could cause serious water damage to your property. Additionally, the type of tile you choose to pave your wet room with can determine its upkeep – porous stone tiles need to be resealed every few months, for example, so bear this in mind when choosing your tiles.
Consider moving your master bedroom downstairs
The dream for many in their older years is to move into a beautiful bungalow in the countryside. However, there are only so many countryside-based bungalows for sale, and in reality, downsizing isn’t always the best option.
If you find yourself in a position where you’re starting to struggle with your mobility and don’t want this to be a major factor in your later years, then moving your master bedroom downstairs earlier on in life may well be advantageous.
Not only will you have a cosy room isolated away from the upstairs, where your noisy children or grandchildren base themselves, moving around and getting yourself off to bed will become a breeze. Again, further adjustments can be made to accommodate you when you’re older – such as widened doorframes and grips to help you in and out of bed.
If you’re not a big fan of the idea of a downstairs master bedroom, then there are other adjustments that you can make to ensure that you’re still able to get up and about your home. Stairlifts are easily fitted to bannisters to allow accessibility and ease, otherwise adding a second bannister for security may well be more suited to your requirements. Other aids, such as a bath lift, a rail or the fitting of outdoor ramps may also come in handy if your difficulties lie in your physical stability.
Install CCTV and intercom – both for safety and surveillance
Nobody wants to feel vulnerable – especially not as an older person, perhaps living alone, in a place where they had previously felt safe and at ease. Installing CCTV and intercom systems – not only for safety reasons but also for surveillance could be a godsend. Ensuring that they are installed while you are still in your younger years means that you don’t have to worry about it in the future, but it could also make your life easier in the long run.
Having an intercom system installed means where you can hear (and often, see) whoever is calling at your home. This will not only make you feel safer but will also ensure that you’re not struggling to the front door to welcome unwanted guests. As well as installing a security system, installing outdoor lights to ward of any potential criminals could be beneficial to you, irrespective of your age.
If you feel as though you may need additional help in determining how to make appropriate changes to your home to suit yours or a partner’s needs, then your local council offers a service that carefully and competently assesses your home and recommends to you any adjustments that they believe may be of benefit to you.
This home assessment is always free and, along with recommending adjustments to the layout and structure of your home, can also help in recommending gadgets and pieces of technology for the household that would make your life easier.
Related: Loans for home improvements