When thinking of home improvements, things such as painting, small extensions or new furniture often spring to mind. However, as you approach your twilight years it’s important to consider accessibility and convenience in any home improvements you decide to make. In addition, it’s important to keep your home safe with effective fire and theft prevention measures which can become outdated over time.
Key improvements to consider
The most positive home improvements you can make are ones which combine visual and practical improvements. For example, if your lounge sofas have become run-down and need replacing, consider sofas which are higher off the ground and are therefore easier to stand up from. In the kitchen, repainting your kitchen cabinets brighter colours and removing any excess cupboards can make your kitchen feel more spacious, whilst improving manoeuvrability and visibility.
In the bathroom, lower towel rails and grab rails will provide invaluable accessibility, along with ideas such as a walk-in shower and anti-slip flooring. These kinds of improvements are crucial in preventing falls while maintaining a person’s independence.
If you’re thinking about replacing your bed, adjustable electric beds are both comfortable and great for pressure relief and joint pain. Coupled with modern memory foam mattresses, electric beds can also look very stylish. If you live in a large property, moving your bedroom to the ground floor can also save going up and down the stairs more than necessary. However, stair lifts are also an option.
The time may come when you also need to consider investing in improving the accessibility outside your home. This could be in the form of wheelchair ramps and outdoor lights to improve visibility.
Keeping you and your home safe
As you age it becomes even more imperative to keep yourself and your home safe. Key ways to look after your household’s safety are to consider installing or updating an existing burglar alarm and checking that you have means of fire prevention, such as a small fire extinguisher or blanket. In addition, it is recommended that you install gas and carbon monoxide detectors to alert you to any leak which could be extremely harmful to yourself and any pets you may have. It is also advised to consider installing a community alarm or panic button in your home or to wear it about your person. They are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week and ensure that a person can continue to live independently with the peace of mind that someone will assist them if a problem arises.
The positive influence of home improvements on lifestyle
Accessible home improvements can really help improve quality of living and happiness in older age. They enable minimal or no loss of independence, something which plays a key role in people’s happiness levels in later life. The relationship between happiness and health works both ways. Scientists have claimed that happier pensioners walk at a faster pace, are more physically active and are less likely to develop health problems like heart disease and cancer. Dr. Andrew Steptoe of University College London states that “our research provides further evidence that enjoyment of life is relevant to the future disability and mobility of older people”.