Dec 21, 2021

Ideas for Elder-Friendly Home Renovation


An elderly man and woman standing next to an open window and holding white cups filled with coffee

Are you planning on renovating your home? Why not invest in elder-friendly home renovation and secure your home for the future? You'll create a comfortable, safe, and secure place for all your family members. If you have very young kids, they'll also benefit from these features while you will be able to take full advantage of them as you get older. To help you design your future senior living home, we've prepared a list of things to focus on. With our tips and ideas, you'll create a perfect senior-friendly environment where you'll feel comfortable and safe to grow old.

Elder-friendly home renovation: what to focus on?

When designing an elder-friendly home, the accent should be on increasing accessibility and making all features fully functional. That's exactly what we're going to help you with in this article. We've prepared simple tips and advice to create a safe and comfortable home for your future. All that will be left for you to do is to decorate it without sacrificing safety.

An elderly couple sitting on a couch, eating snacks and watching TV
By investing in the elder-friendly renovation, you'll ensure you have a secure home to spend your golden years carefree

Invest in good lighting

Nothing is less safe than a poorly lit home. Therefore, to ensure your home is safe and secure, make sure to invest in good lighting. Here is what to pay attention to when choosing lighting options for your elder-friendly home:

  • Make sure that outdoor areas, reading areas, bathrooms, stairways, kitchen, and garage are properly lit and have sufficient lighting.

  • Add under the cabinet lights to both kitchen counters and the cooking area.

  • Ensure there are enough windows to provide you with natural light. A good idea is to replace doors and windows in your home, too. That way, you'll ensure to bring enough natural light and vitamin D into your home. On top of that, you'll make sure your home is properly insulated.

  • You should install light switches at both top and bottom of your stairways.

  • The type of switches you want to use is important, too. The best way to go is to use large, rocker-type light switches as they're easy, convenient, and user-friendly to all ages.

  • Install nightlights to help you move around your home at night easily.

  • Make sure your home has emergency lights as they'll really come in handy if there's an electrical blackout.

A living room with a large window and a gray sofa sitting next to an open door
Sunlight therapy has many health benefits for elderly people and even helps with battling depression.

Have in mind that, after you finish upgrading the lighting in your home, you'll have your old fixtures left behind. You can sell them and earn some extra money or give them away.

However, the relocation team from Zippy Shell Louisiana suggested a different option. They advise keeping the extra items from your home in a storage unit. That way, in case something breaks in your home, you'll have a replacement waiting for you instantly.

Replace doorknob handles

Turning a doorknob doesn't seem like a difficult task, right? But when you're a senior, this can be more daunting than you can imagine! It can even be painful for people who have arthritis or other conditions. Therefore, doorknobs are one of the first things to focus on when trying to make your home more elder-friendly.

To make your doors senior-friendly, make sure to choose door handles in the form of a doorknob (round) or door lever.  Door levers might be more suitable as they're easier for kids and older adults to use. Even if your hands are slippery or you're carrying something with both of your hands, it will be much simpler for you to open the doors.

Pay attention to the interior design style you choose

When designing an elder-friendly home, you need to be mindful of the interior design style you choose. You need to focus on functionality rather than style and trends. 

First, make sure your space is not overcrowded with furniture. You want to have enough space between different pieces of furniture to move around freely. If you're left with extra pieces of furniture that you have no room for after renovation, storage can make your life easier. Consider renting a unit where you can keep all of the things you need but are not essential.

A bright-open space kitchen after an elder-friendly home renovation.
Before you start your elder-friendly home renovation, make sure to carefully design the space so that enough room is left between furniture to move around freely.

If you have marble or tiled floor, you should have rugs or carpets covering them. You want to prevent potential slipping or tripping over them. A good idea is to introduce high contrasting colors to your interior design. As many older people suffer from impaired contract perception, this is a good way to make your life easier in case it happens to you.

Safe and accessible bathroom

Probably the most important room in your home to "senior-proof" is your bathroom. For instance, wet bathroom floors are a hazard for everyone, no matter the age. To prevent this from happening, invest in a non-skid bathroom mat. A good idea is to add a telephone extension to your bathroom in case of an emergency.

Another important thing to add to your bathroom in order to make it more elder-friendly is a grab bar. You can even go for a handrail. These devices will help you move around easily, especially in and out of the shower area. As you want to be on the safe side, you also need to make sure the door opens outwards. In case someone falls near the door, you want help to be able to come in. 

Keep in mind that when you retire, you'll probably have a lower monthly income. To save money and help protect the environment at the same time, consider adding eco-friendly features.

The bottom line

We hope our article inspired you to start planning your elder-friendly home renovation. Even though you might not need these features now, they will be useful to you at some point. So why not take advantage of your renovation and create a place where you'll feel safe and comfortable as a senior? We guarantee you won't regret it!

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