Feb 13, 2021

Making Your Home Retirement Friendly

Unless you are living in a senior community and or you have not already done renovations, if you plan to stay in your home during retirement, it is really important that you make it retirement friendly.  There are many easy things you can do that don't cost very much.  First, all showers and tubs must have grab bars so both you and your older guests have something to hang on to if needed while bathing.   If you have round door knobs have them changed out to lever door knobs, which are easier to manipulate.   If you don't already have lower drawers, install roll out's in your lower kitchen cabinets so you can put your dishes there instead of in upper kitchen cabinets that may be harder to reach.  

Single story living is always preferable; but if you live in a two story house and your washer and dryer are in a basement, they need to come upstairs preferable on the same floor as your master bedroom.  The good news is that with stackable washers and dryers, a small amount of space is needed to make this work.  Next are the stairs.  It would be good if you can use space on the first floor if not already there to make a master bedroom with bath on the first floor so you don't need to do stairs at all even if it means getting rid of space you don't need anymore like a living room or adding a room and bath.  The key is to get your entire living on one floor one way or another.  If that is not feasible, you can cost effectively put in a modular elevator or the stair lifter, when the time comes if getting upstairs is the only option.  

Specific to the master bath, if you don't have room for both a bathtub and shower, get rid of the bathtub to install a big walk in shower with bench and both a normal shower head and a hose type shower head to allow for bathing while seated on the bench; again with lots of grab bars.  Steps are the enemy as we get older because falling can be lethal.  If steps can be replaced with ramps going into and out of the garage or house that would be best.  Think handicapped and wheel chairs.  The odds are pretty good that at some point in retirement, you could be in a wheel chair if nothing else just recovering from a fall or surgery.  

Get rid of throw rugs and clutter that could cause a fall.  Make sure you have lots of clearance to move around.  Falling is the single biggest reason Seniors end up in Senior Care facilities.  At all cost, you must avoid a fall because it can cause a sequence of unpleasant events.  

As soon as you determine you want to stay in your current home, short of moving, it is time to make your home retirement friendly.  Either way, Paragon Home Resources can help.  We can refer you to specialists to make your home retirement friendly or if moving to another home is a better option, we can help with selling and buying a retirement friendly home, dealing with household goods and many other services to make moving as easy as possible.  Living comfortably and safely in retirement should always be the goal.