AdviceInterior design

Home Adaptations for the Elderly

When we are young, we think nothing of moving from rented flat to rented house and then moving our way up the property ladder by canny buying and selling. But as we get a little older the desire to move –for work or for a bigger, better home – subsides. We look for that lifetime home, that keeper that will see us into old age. Or we simply find ourselves in a home that we love and never want to leave.

As we grow older, what we need from our home can change, as well as how we use it. In retirement we will obviously spend a lot more time in our houses or flats, then there is the fact that many of us may be less able to get up and down stairs and may want to consider some home adaptations for the elderly. We may need somewhere to store a mobility scooter or to install a ramp for a wheelchair or easy access to our home. Of course, you may equally need somewhere to store the extra tennis gear, walking shoes and mountain bikes.

home adaptations for the elderly

Image Source: Pinterest

Home adaptations for the elderly

If we want to stay in our homes as we age then home adaptations for the elderly are likely to be needed, but thinking about, planning and paying for any potential changes while we are younger and more able is the best move. Steps can be lowered, downstairs bathrooms installed and doorways adapted when we are able to take on some of the work ourselves, or are earning and therefore able to plan the spending. Similarly, children may be able to plan and help to undertake or to pay for work for their parents as they see these needs increasing.

“Preparing for older age is half of the work of making it a successful older age,” says Mervyn Kohler, who is External Affairs Advisor at the charity Age UK. “Think about things such as how much home decorating you will want to do, and do things like getting taps with levers in your bathroom and kitchen as you need to replace them.”

home modifications for the elderly

Image Source: Pinterest

When you will be spending more time in your home, fuel and heat efficiency are also major issues, especially as the price of energy rises so quickly, often unexpectedly. You may also feel the need to keep your home warmer as you age.

Check if you are eligible for any kind of assistance with the cost of making your home energy efficient and make sure that your loft insulation is up to scratch. You can get a gas engineer around to check that your boiler is functioning well or to advise you on the best combination boiler for your needs.

home modifications for seniors

Image Source: Pinterest

Having new doors and windows fitted can also be a money-saver in the long run. UPVC window frames mean cutting down on the painting and maintenance associated with wooden or metal frames.

Security is an important issue for the ageing, so fitting security lights, door chains and intercom systems can add to that feeling of safety around the home. Panic buttons and alarm systems are worth looking at, although it is often the most simple of adaptations that will benefit you.

“Ask yourself if you will still be able to get down on your knees and do the gardening,” says Age UK’s Mervyn Kohler. “You may want to get raised beds and replace some of the lawn with decking or paving stones.

raised garden bed

Image Source: Better Homes and Gardens

There are issues about cupboards too, as stretching or bending may become a struggle as you get older. Next time you do a bathroom refit then get rid of the bath and install a shower with a seat in it.”

Your tradesman should be able to help you with any addition or adaptation to your home, but for further advice call Age UK on 0800 169 6565 or visit the Age UK website.

Looking for tradesmen you can trust to help with modifying your home? Post your job on Rated People and up to three tradesmen will get in touch to quote on your job. You’ll be able to view their individual profiles, complete with previous customer recommendations, to help you decide who to hire.

Iain Aitch

Iain is a London-based writer who works as a journalist for a number of newspapers and magazines. He has also written two books, one of which is a hilarious lexicon about Britishness – Iain is a Brit through and through!

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One Comment

  1. Your blog keeps getting beettr and beettr! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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