Home Updates For Your Retirement
Is your home ready for the retirement years of your life? The golden years… you’ve worked so hard, now its time to relax and enjoy your spoils. But is your home ready? Whether retirement is right around the corner or you are smack dab in the middle of it, adding simple comforts to your home right now will help sustain you in the space for years to come.
Some people choose to completely uproot their lives in the retirement years - selling off everything they have and moving to a climate that is easier deal with (i.e. Arizona for example). Some choose to stay where they are. Either way, it really never is too early to start thinking about your retirement and what amenities your home will need in order to sustain your aging years. It’s best to anticipate your needs and start modifying your space early on rather than waiting for a major life event or medical issue to occur.
Assessing your home is the place to start. You’ll want to walk the entire house they way that you use it now and intend to use it in the years to come. Are things easily accessible? Are they sinks low enough for limited accessibility? Be honest with yourself and what you want to deal with as you get older.
Consider the following tips.
Bring in more lighting
Good lighting creates deep contrast and will help you navigate your spaces safely. We tend to ignore safety guidelines in our younger years, but your eyes take longer to adjust and need good light to focus as we age. This is step number one in preparing your home for retirement. You may want to consider adding more light fixtures, including under-cabinet lights in the kitchens and bath areas, pendant lights over any workspaces and additional night lighting, including baseboard lights (you don’t want to stub your toes).
Update your bathrooms
The first project we usually see people tackle in their golden years is the bathrooms. The goal is to make bathing/showering safer and more comfortable - easy to get in and out of. There are many ways to address bathing, including bathtub and shower conversions into bench seats, handheld shower heads, open walk-in concepts and more. You want to reduce the risk of falling from minimal to none. You can look at replacing things slippery, polished tile in the bathroom, creating a curb-less shower and also adding some grab bars as a starting point.
Add railings. Rethink steps.
Think about everywhere you walk and where you may need to grab onto something for support. Railings should be incorporate into your home plan on both the interior and exterior living spaces. Railings are of course, ideal for stairs, sidewalks or garages and can be functional yet decorative pieces that match the aesthetic of your home. If possible, eliminate steps and stairs altogether by installing low-grade ramps with handrails.
Update hardware and storage
Some simple hardware updates will enable you to turn on the sink, open a door or close a cabinet with ease in your golden years. Don’t take for granted all the movement and muscles it takes to open knobs and drawers. This can become increasingly difficult when carrying items or groceries.
Preparing for retirement also means storing everyday items in easy-to-reach locations and creating storage that’s accessible.
Create a dedicated guest space
In theory, retirement means you’ll have more free time on your hands. For some people, that’s not the case - they are busier than every with projects, clubs, hobbies, etc. But one thing is for certain; we spend more time with loved ones in our retired years and we have more visitors. Prepare your home for retirement be dedicating a room to a guest space.
By doing, this you’ll make your home more inviting to old friends, family, grand children and pets. You’ll see them more often without making it inconvenient for everyone.