Making home improvements or adaptations can be key in ensuring that your home stays relevant to your needs throughout your life. For many older adults, this is a necessary element of aging in place and avoiding the need for a supported living arrangement when mobility or illness becomes a concern.
The right home improvements can ensure that the risk of falls and injuries is greatly reduced. This in turn can ensure that seniors can maintain their independence.
Studies have shown that holding on to our sense of independence for as long as possible as we advance in years can prevent the loss of confidence and self-esteem that can damage our mental health. Experiencing a fall, or feeling anxious about whether you are as safe as you once were in your home can convince many seniors (or indeed their loved ones) that they ‘can no longer manage’ in their home.
Leaving a much-loved home when in every other sense you would prefer to stay put can be a real blow. For many seniors, leaving their home for the necessary new arrangements where they can feel safer, or mobility concerns are eased may mean a complete change of area. Thus, as well as leaving their home they also have to say goodbye to a community or friends and neighbours, which can be a much-valued support network too.
It is no surprise then that more and more older adults show a commitment to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Many seniors are willing to invest in the right home improvements for them that will also give their loved ones’ peace of mind, to ensure this happens.
Some seniors may only require minor improvements throughout their home, perhaps new floor coverings to reduce the risk of slips or falls, improved lighting, or a handrail in the bathroom to aid with bathing. Others may need to make more significant home improvements to give wheelchair access, such as a wider entryway, or a ramp instead of steps for entering and exiting their homes.
One of the most popular home improvements for seniors over recent years though has been the installation of a residential elevator. Whether for an existing wheelchair user or simply someone who has started to find stairs difficult, the introduction of a home elevator to the home can be a truly life changing home improvement.
For many older people, as they age there is a gradual drop off in using their home fully throughout the day. Some seniors even express feeling increasingly confined to one room because they cannot easily access others.
How wonderful then, to feel that your home is open to you once more, that you can easily return to the bedroom should you leave your reading glasses there, or sit in your den and enjoy the afternoon sun, with no more than the need to push a button. This ability to reclaim the whole of one’s home is one of the reasons that a home elevator is an increasingly popular choice for seniors in the US and worldwide.