The beauty of a home is that it can span years, even decades and generations belonging to the same family while standing strong. The home you once grew up in as a child can eventually be passed on to you, and help shelter you and your growing family. Having a home that is able to protect your entire family is a beautiful concept, but also one that poses some set-backs. One of the biggest setbacks you must learn to face is knowing how to best remodel your home for your aging relatives. Home remodeling for the elderly is a serious topic that must take lots of consideration before you decide to fully move your family into a home. Even if it’s not the home you grew up in, and you simply have some aging parents you now must care for, home remodeling for the elderly needs to be at the top of your priority list when choosing a home.
You might be wondering why it’s necessary to remodel a home for your elderly parents or family members. The number one reason is simple- safety. One cannot safely live in a home that isn’t remodeled to make their loved one’s life safer and more comfortable. In worst-case scenarios, having a home that isn’t remodeled to consider things such as ambulatory needs, walkers, wheelchairs, and aging limbs, can lead to accidents such as slip and falls, bone fractures, bruises, and even fatal injuries that can all occur within the home.
Don’t take the risk. Start buying a home that you know can eventually be remodeled with your loved ones in mind. Better yet, take a little time to research and spend money on renovations that are must-haves for any aging parent. You can do simple renovations even on older homes to ensure your loved ones are safe. In addition, home remodeling for the elderly can also increase the value of your home if you decide to sell it later on. More and more people are realizing the benefits of designing a home with extra renovations and safety in mind. In fact, according to 2013 Houzz research, the number of people making improvements to their home to increase value has increased 7% since 2012. Be part of the wave of homeowners quickly adding value and renovations to their home, and have peace of mind that your loved ones are safe and living comfortably. If you want to get started, here are 15 tips on how to start home remodeling for the elderly. These tips can help your loved ones live comfortably, safely, and are super easy to use beginning today!
1. Set up a Budget
If you’re a caregiver, long-lost family member, or simply a caring neighbor, you might not know how much of a budget to spend on renovations, but are still interested in improving the lifestyle of your elderly loved one. Sit down and discuss finances with your elderly homeowner or relative, and set up a budget to know how much to spend on renovations. This principle is important when planning for any major investment. Whether you’re looking at boats for sale, buying a home, or completing a renovation project, a budget is an absolute must. Some renovations simply cannot wait, and a loan application might help in getting you cash to ensure your loved one can live in their renovated home safely.
2. Ensure Care During Renovations
During renovations, certain hazards such as trip hazards, construction workers and builders coming in and out, wet paint, and other issues, your elderly relative or housemate might need some additional help while renovations are in progress. Home remodeling for the elderly could take a while, so be sure to set up arrangements to care for your loved one while the building project is underway. Staying at a hotel with ADA set-ups, or even checking your loved one into a care facility for a bit can make all the difference in comfort. If your loved one does end up in an accident while renovations occur, consult the help of personal injury lawyers to get some compensation!
3. Install Ramps
Once you have a budget and a secure place to leave your loved one in good hands, you can start with the basics of home remodeling for the elderly. One of the best renovations you can use are installing ramps instead of stairs to ensure your loved one can in and out and to and from their home easily. Ramps can be a simple edition but must be done by a professional. Get the proper building supplies to ensure your ramp is steady, at the proper angle, and can support transportation devices your elderly housemate might need such as gurneys, wheelchairs, and electric scooters.
4. Install a Stairlift
A stairlift is one of the best investments when home remodeling for the elderly. A stairlift ensures your elderly loved one can get up and down flights of stairs and change floors in their home without having to risk falling or hurting their knees, legs, and back climbing stairs. Stairlifts can even be covered by insurance, so do a bit of research to see what stairlift model is right for your home. Always make sure you review and ensure stairlifts are working properly before use as well.
5. Use Artificial or Easy-Maintain Plants
Though you want to make your home safe for the elderly, this doesn’t mean having to skimp on style. Artificial grass and easy-to-maintain plants are stylish, low maintenance, and require little effort by both you and your loved one to care for. All this while making your home look beautiful make these must-haves for your remodeled home.
6. Install Easy-to-Clean Floors
If you find yourself gone most of the time, and know that your loved one will at some points participate in easy chores, you should try and make their lives easier by installing easy to clean floors. Hardwood floors, in particular, require little effort to maintain clean besides using light-weight sweepers and hardwood floor cleaner. Carpets in particular are beautiful in some homes, but require heavy cleaning from carpet cleaning and steam machines, heavy vacuums, and stain removers to maintain looking well. Avoid the unnecessary hassle by using hardwood floors in your remodeled home.
7. Keep your Loved Ones Past in Mind
Though you might want to renovate a home in order to make it more hip, safe, and modern, it’s important to still keep your elderly loved one’s part in mind if renovating their own home. Alzheimer care might require you to constantly remind your loved one of who you are, where they are, and what is going on, which can cause stress and anxiety on your loved one. Having mementos that remind your loved one of their home, keeping family pictures and original furniture in the home, or even simply painting the walls their favorite color are all simple, yet crucial things to leave in a home to ensure your loved one feels safe and comfortable.
8. Use Rug Slip Pads
One of the biggest hazards and biggest things to consider when home remodeling for the elderly is the possibility of slips and falls. A simple way to prevent slips and falls is to buy non-slip rug pads that prevent your loved one from tripping on rugs while walking or using their canes or walkers. In addition, you can prevent falls by buying extra size shoes that are slip-resistant, at least for your elderly relatives to wear while inside slippery spots in the home.
9. Install New Kitchen Appliances
Though you can easily get the help of a marble cleaning service to keep antique kitchen countertops glistening, you can also add new appliances to make your home easier to use for elderly relatives. Microwaves with bigger buttons, simple dishwashers, electric stoves, and easy-to-use ovens are all great options for home remodeling for the elderly. Besides adding newer appliances to the kitchen, you can also help your elderly family members by fixing appliances that might be older, harder to use, and need extra muscle to operate. These can include replacing old dryers and washers with front-end loading machines, adding sink heads that detach for easy clean ups, and everything in between. You know best what your loved one is physically capable of, and what they need.
10. Install Easy-to-Use Bathroom Fixtures
Just like installing kitchen appliances that are easy to use, remember to update your bathroom to be safe for your elderly family members. Walk-in bath and safety tubs are great options for home remodeling for the elderly. These walk-in bath tubs open up on the side, allowing elderly people to easily enter the tub without risking a slip and fall getting in and out of the shower. Ensure all bath-mats are properly in place, that shower-heads and faucets are easy to use, and that your loved one has an easy time staying safe in the bathroom.
11. Maintain Roofing
A great, well-maintained roof, in general, is a must-have for any healthy home. Ensure you get the help of a roofing contractor to help your elderly family member stay safe from hazards such as leaks, falling roof tiles, poor insulation, and additional damage to older homes. Roofs are extremely difficult and expensive to replace on your own, especially if you are older and elderly. Because of this, it’s best to simply continue to maintain your roof in proper working condition, ensure all tiles are properly replaced, and ensure that your roofing work is done by a professional that can install things such as flashing, architectural tiles, and layers of roofing properly.
12. Install a Quiet Garden
The life of an elderly family member might lead to them being incredibly tired, so it’s nice to have a quiet garden for your elderly housemate to relax in. A simple garden can do wonders to reduce stress and get your family member outside of the house on simple walks, or to simply enjoy the outdoors. Bark dust blowers can help keep your new garden free of debris, pre-built ponds can create a relaxing atmosphere, and the addition of a water fountain can all help keep your garden clean, comfortable, and beautiful. Gardens are also a great addition to a home if you’re thinking of selling your home, and attract larger groups of buyers due to their beauty.
13. Organize Medicines
From orthodontic care to routine daily medicines to prescriptions for other ailments and the occasional cold, your elderly housemate might be overwhelmed with medical supplies. It’s important to organize any medicines and treatments with the utmost care, and pill organizers are a great way to do this. In addition, have an area dedicated specifically to helping your elderly loved one get their medicine in an easily accessible place. The kitchen, which is spacious, has water nearby for medicine, and is accessible 24/7 is a great place to set up a place to organize and take medicines. If your loved one forgets easily, watch them closely and use the help of a calendar and alarms to also help you give medicine to them.
14. Have a Simple Entertainment System
All homes must have an entertainment system, and when home remodeling for the elderly, keep in mind how difficult some systems can be. It’s always best to opt for an entertainment system that utilizes only one remote, or if not, has easily-labeled remotes to help your loved one maneuver their favorite shows and movies. Don’t have an entertainment system full of complicated wires either, as this can pose a fire hazard and cause an electrical surge, especially if a loved one decides to rewire and accidentally unplug the wrong cord! Keep cords and entertainment systems simple and organized.
15. Install Security Systems
To keep you comfortable for when you’re not home, one of the best things to use when home remodeling for the elderly are security systems that have a live-feed of your home. Life alert and other systems can help if your elderly family member has an accident, but in case they can’t reach help, having a security system that you can monitor your home on while away can help you in case of an emergency. In addition, it can help keep away burglars that might prey on an elderly person’s vulnerability. Of all home remodeling for the elderly tips, getting security systems installed, and monitoring them is the most important of all!