Many people will own a home at some point in their life, with others owning several throughout a lifetime. Moving into a new home can be an exciting adventure, as the new space presents a blank canvas for your creativity and sense of style. Even if the former owners lived there for decades and incorporated their tastes into the interior and exterior features, once you own the house, you can start making changes immediately.
Aesthetic updates are a great way to freshen up the home, but functional updates are even more important. Certain changes could end up saving you money on utility bills, increasing the value of the home should you elect to sell, and improving the living experience of you and your family.
Sometimes, renovations happen because of the life stage that you are in. Maybe you need an additional bathroom to support a growing family. Or it is time to maximize the kitchen’s potential so you can host events more.
When you start to get older, your home will need some other specific upgrades so that you can maintain your independence. Aging in place is a growing trend that many people are turning to in lieu of long-term care facilities. It is well known that nursing home abuse happens more often than it should, forcing many people to turn to New Mexico nursing home lawyers for help. Ideally, you can remain independent and live at home for as long as possible, but you may need to make some changes to do so. Here are a few ways to ready your home for the twilight years of your life.
Make the Bathroom Safer
Bathrooms are a common cause of slips or falls for elderly individuals. They are used frequently every day and are typically private, so accidents that do happen may not be noticed by others for a while. Plus, taking a shower or bath and engaging in hygiene practices can create slippery surfaces. Designing your bathroom to be safer for your aging body should be a top priority if you want to age in place. Installing a walk-in tub, handlebars next to the toilet, a raised toilet seat, and anti-slip flooring can prepare the bathroom for your needs as you get older.
Stairs are a huge culprit when it comes to senior injuries. Even if you have lived in your home for 30 years and been fine with going up and down the stairs, your muscles, joints, and bones may not be able to handle the strain anymore. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with stairs that don’t require you to move out of the house. You can install a chair lift that glides up and down the stairs as a safer option. If you have the space, professionals can add a personal vacuum elevator to make movement between floors convenient for you. There are also stair assist blocks that increase the number of steps, making them much smaller and easier for your weakening legs to handle.
Sometimes, older houses have much narrower doorways throughout the home. This can become a big issue if you get to a point where you are regularly using a walker or a wheelchair. Plus, if your balance is compromised, you are far more likely to bump into a narrow doorway and injure your shoulder, arm, or leg. If you don’t want to do a more intense remodeling job to widen the doorways, there are alternative doorway changes you can make such as offset door hinges or changing the direction that the door opens that will accomplish a similar effect.
Increase the Lighting
Your eyes could be one of the first parts of your body that is most affected by aging. Your vision may start to fail, making it harder to see obstacles in front of you or affecting your depth perception. If you live in a house with few windows or not enough lighting, then adding some additional fixtures would be a wise decision to enhance your safety measures. Instead of relying on lamps, you could add ceiling lights that cover a wider area and light up more corners of the room. The more of your home that is illuminated, the less likely you are to stumble over obstacles that you did not see.
Implement Changes Early
Even though you may still be relatively healthy and able to live independently right now, you never know when the effects of aging may start to kick in. If you know that you plan to age in place in your current New Mexico home, then the best time to prepare is now. If your home is ready ahead of time, then the transition to aging in place will be smoother, making a potentially frustrating process easier on your mental health.