One in seven people in the UK will be 70 by 2040. With an aging population comes major changes, especially for families. From an increase in hospital visits to considering live-in care for elderly loved ones, some adjustments will be necessary. Instead of reacting to what is natural in life, plan for the future.
Start by adapting your home to suit you as you age.
A Safer Home
Many accidents occur at home, particularly for older people. Now would be the right time to start remodelling your property to prevent slips, trips and other potential accidents when you age.
Rethink the bedroom
If you have a two-storey home, your bedroom is likely on the second floor. It may have served you well in the past, but ageing can take its toll on your strength. Getting up and down may not be as easy as before. Why not convert a spare room or an office on the first floor into your bedroom?
If there’s no way to turn a spare room into a bedroom on the main floor, a stairlift installation may be necessary later on. You can get and down with ease and safely.
Move with ease in the bathroom
Changes to your bathroom suite are critical to ensuring safety and comfort. Install handrails for support, add non-slip bath mats and swap your stationary showerhead for a handheld one. You can also get a shower seat to reduce the risk of falling in the shower.
If it’s in the budget, turn your bathroom into a wet style shower room with non-slip flooring. This way, you don’t have to strain lifting your leg to get in and out of the bath.
Improve the lighting indoors and outdoors
A well-lit home is safer and easier to move around in. Add an outdoor, so you can see your way clearly. You may also want to install lights along the hallways and pathways in your yard.
Motion-sensor lights may also be a good idea since you don’t have to find your way through the dark when you get up in the middle of the night.
Organize the kitchen
Whether you’re a budding master chef or just prefer to cook meals on your own, your kitchen has to be easy to use. Ageing brings on certain conditions you may not be able to avoid, from arthritis to muscle loss. Such conditions can make an everyday chore seem like a difficult challenge, such as gripping a knife to cut vegetables, bending to open lower cabinets, or getting plates from the shelves.
Try the following:
- Get wide-handled cutlery
- Move commonly used items to easy-to-reach areas
- Install pull-out drawers to replace lower cabinets
- Install faucets with levers, so it’s easier to use
- Upgrade your stove for safety’s sake
Aging in Place
Aging in place allows you to still take some control over your life, even as you go through physical and cognitive changes. With some form of independence, you’ll be able to live your life the way you see fit. Familiar surroundings and your routine will also bring comfort and security.
You may also be able to save money in living at home instead of living in an assisted facility. Care homes may charge £50,000 a year just for a room. But make sure your home today is fit for later-life needs.