Making a home safe and livable during retirement is an important process for those close to retirement. It’s completely understandable why you or your loved one wants to continue living at home during their retirement years – nothing beats the comfort and familiarity of your own house.
However, as we reach retirement, it is important to prepare our homes for this new stage of our lives to mitigate risks that could put our physical and mental wellbeing at risk.
Here’s how you can do it:
How Accessible Is Your Home?
Consider: Could your home’s features, such as staircases, hallways, and room layout, limit mobility?
For example, are there various obstacles, such as furniture and rugs, that make navigating through rooms and hallways difficult?
Is the bedroom up a steep flight of stairs that are difficult to climb? Does the bathroom have a shower and bath that is easily accessible for a less mobile person?
Dorvie Tip: Clear all obstacles and rearrange furniture to create open spaces for easier movement in rooms and halls. Also, consider installing railings, stair lifts, and other mobility aids that make the home more accessible for those with more limited mobility.
Prepare the Kitchen and Bathroom
Consider This: The kitchen and bathroom are two of the most used rooms in any household, yet they also pose some of the more common risks for retirees living at home. For example, tiles are often slippery and could therefore increase the risk of a fall.
Are the kitchen cupboards the right height? Placing them too high or low may cause difficulties with reaching up or bending down. Could better lighting be installed to improve visibility to avoid risks while cooking in the kitchen?
Similarly, consider potential hazards in the bathroom.
Dorvie Tips: Raised toilet seats and handlebars may be needed, while a waterproof seat is a good choice for easier showering. New flooring and non-slip bathmats can help prevent slips, trips, and falls.
In some situations, more extensive bathroom renovations could be necessary. For instance, if mobility is limited then you may need to install a walk-in bathtub.
Make the Most of Newer Technologies
Consider This: Retirement often comes with increased social isolation – no matter if a person retires at home or in a retirement community. Technology provides a range of tools to keep our loved ones safe and secure in their homes, while making life at home more enjoyable.
Dorvie Tips: Installing smart cameras can allow for overall peace of mind and for quick reactions during an emergency.
Activity trackers can be placed on things like cabinets, doors, and windows. These devices track daily movements. If they aren’t activated for a set period of time, they can alert relatives or caretakers to ensure fast action – if needed.
Technology like tablets and smartphones can also make life at home more enjoyable by making communication accessible, immersive, and more meaningful – unlocking socializing opportunities that didn’t exist before and providing access to our favorite entertainment options, on demand.
At Dorvie, we understand the desire to stay in one's own home and we're here to help you do just that. From resources on aging in place to our customizable platform of services delivered by well-vetted local providers, we want to help you enjoy your golden years. Because you've earned it. Enjoy Life, Let Dorvie Handle It!