Updated: Aug 2, 2021
When should I get my home ready for my senior years
If you plan on staying where you are longterm the answer is now. A lot of us don't think about what it will be like when we get older. As we are young and healthy the thought of not being able to climb the stairs or fit through a door never crosses our mind but it should. There are ways to be proactive and things you should think about and plan for now. Most people would tell you they want to stay in their home. It is a lot harder to modify the home yourself as you age. Crises mode typically is what leads people to modify their house. An example is you end up in the hospital and upon discharge you can't go up the stairs to get into your home or to the bedroom on the top floor. What are your choices then? Stay at a family members who will need to take time off of work to help take care of you. Stay in the hospital until modification can be done. Or go to a nursing home while your home is being modified. Do any of those sound like choices you want to make? There is a fourth option. Getting your home ready and being proactive while you are able and BEFORE crises hits. A few things to think about are:
What is the layout of the house. Where do you want your bedroom to be as you age?
Are there stairs in the front or the back of the house. If so a ramp and stairs along the side of the ramp can look sleek and be there for you when you are needing it. If you haven't found your house yet look for a zero entry home.
What is the space like. If you end up in a wheelchair is there a lot of sharp corners to navigate inside your home that might be difficult as you get older
It is no secret that hard wood flooring is easier to navigate than carpet with a walker or wheelchair. Another thing to think about is what is under that flooring. A broken hip is all too common as we age from a single fall. Is there padding underneath your flooring or is it concrete(sometimes builders do this to cut costs.)
Door ways. Wheelchairs can be pretty wide depending on your weight. How wide will your wheelchair be? Often homes need to be modified for wheelchairs. If a wheelchair fits through the door to the bedroom will it fit through the closet door? It might not. I have seen homes where the bedroom door is 30 inches but the closet door is 27 inches. This can make it very difficult for someone who finds themselves in a wheelchair. An easy test is if you have a loved one in your life that has a wheelchair say your mom or dad. Take it for a test drive through your house. What do you find that would be the most difficult for you? Now modify
Showers. A lot of bathrooms are very small when you place equipment inside such as a home lift, wheelchair, or walker. Try a wheelchair out in your bathroom. Can you get off of the wheelchair and onto the toilet to void with privacy? Or does your bathroom door not shut with your wheelchair in it? If you like privacy this might be something to look at.
This list really is to just get you thinking. I have seen too many people get displaced from a lack of planning and forethought into their future. We spend years planning our career, our family, our retirement. But how many of us plan for our elder years? Not many. It is not something that we want to think about, but we should. Would you rather be surprised and have an ailment knock you off your feet, or be proactive and know that when that day comes you are ready and can stay in your home instead of become displaced. Whether you are 30, 60, or 80 this is something you should be thinking of. This is a small list that I hope awakens your senses to planning for your future, just in a different way! #elderly #seniors #tips #senior placements