Top tips for making your property friendlier for the elderly
There can be a range of reasons as to why someone may wish to make their home more age-friendly. The most obvious (and perhaps, the most dampening) is that we do it for ourselves as grow older – requiring a more accessible home to get around in. Others may have elderly relatives moving in or are instead making changes to their property for sale to meet the demands of an elderly market.
Whatever the situation is, undertaking this kind of work may not consist of a complete refurbishment of your property – simply a few changes will help towards making your property friendlier for the elderly.
So, whether you’re doing your future self a favour, looking towards a new market or otherwise, making things simpler for you; we’ve put together five of our top tips to make your home more age-friendly.
Keep everything in reach
As we get older, it becomes harder to reach into spaces our otherwise more abled bodies were able to access with ease. This is certainly something which should be taken into consideration when making changes to your property and accommodating those growing old in terms of deciding which furniture to replace.
Make sure that items kept in hard-to-reach places are moved closer to ground level in the interest of access. Think about items kept in the loft and whether you’ll need them in the future. This may also be a good time to have a clear-out and know exactly what’s being kept in these hard to reach places to ensure you do not strain yourself later down the line.
Rethink slippery flooring
Slippery flooring (commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms) can be negotiated much easier at a younger age, as we are gifted with the ability to maintain our balance more easily. However, as we get older, it becomes more difficult – making slippery flooring pose more of a danger than before.
Consider replacing the flooring should it be a potential hazard (especially if it has given you grief in the past!). If your budget does not stretch to accommodate for new flooring, you may choose to instead wear suitable footwear around the house until you can make these changes.
Being able to get around the entire house should not be a luxury as an older person – it should be as much of a right as it is to someone who is more mobile.
To make this possible, consider installing handrails around the house in areas which have become trickier to negotiate. Think bathrooms, kitchens or near front doors. Every house is different, so get these fitted in places that you think will be most beneficial in keeping you or future buyers more mobile around the house.
Simplify the garden
Getting out and about in the garden and doing a bit of D.I.Y is likely to become a less frequent task as we get older, as this work often requires a lot of strain on our bodies.
We recommend replacing high maintenance plants and garden fixtures with alternatives which are much easier to take care of, in the interest of making the space easier for older people to make use of. Think about raising flower beds to avoid kneeling, in addition to clearing pathways of rubble and replacing any broken tiles.
We do hope our tips will make your home more age friendly. However, if you are looking to move home or downsize, do get in touch with us here.