Monday, 30 September 2013

Home Remodeling for the Elderly

Creating an elder friendly home environment is a choice many homeowners are using as against moving to the impersonal surroundings of assisted living. Many elders prefer to stay in their familiar surroundings at home as home renovations for seniors are designed to increase comfort and safety. Due to age related limitations seniors should have the ease to move around and use their home facilities without risk of falling or injury in their day-to-day life.

Remodeling and renovating homes to accommodate the elderly should be carefully thought out and executed according to the needs of the senior residents. Construction companies have now improved methods and designs due to the increased demand for elder related remodeling work. Families that have elder family members moving in with them choose home improvements that focus on the health and comfort of seniors.

These renovations can provide certain degree of independence, help avoid injuries and make the surroundings more accessible and improve the quality of life for the elderly.

Senior Residences
Ideally seniors should reside at ground level but if their homes are situated at a higher floor the elevators, hallways and lifts should be well lit, accessible, with handrails provided. Flooring should be made from slip resistant material, and closets and storage should be easy to use and access.

Seniors require brighter lights but minus the glare so adding sufficient lighting including areas such as the stairs with additional flashlights provided during power cuts should be provided. Switches should be placed at lower levels and operate easily.

Bathrooms are among risk prone areas for slipping and falling so should ensure safety for the elderly. Faucets should be lever controlled; there should be thermostats for controlling water temperatures to prevent scalding, commodes should be at low levels and sinks and curbless showers or tubs should be easily accessible without any floor level differences. Grab bars should be provided and hand held showers should be installed. Flooring should be level and slip resistant and handrails should be installed at regular intervals.

Kitchen renovations for seniors should include modifications that make appliances, countertops, sinks, and cabinets easy to use and access. Cupboards should be easy to open and close or reach.

Home improvement for senior friendly residences should include easy maintaining vinyl materials for sidings and the deck and entry should be on the same level or just about half an inch lower. Landscape should have low maintenance plants and the access pathway should be even. Front door should have space for keeping packages and equipped with sensor lights, peepholes and no steps.

Windows and Doors
Senior friendly homes should be equipped with hardware and locking systems that are secure but easy to operate. The sills should be placed at a lower level and the windows should allow plenty of light during daytime. As dexterity decreases in the elderly and as some have painful arthritis it is worthwhile to change doorknobs and handles with lever types that are easier to handle and operate.

There are many additional ways to manage safety and comfort of senior living that can be included such as alarms, security switches to alert help for ambulance or police and so on. Including energy efficient methods in home renovations can also improve the health and comfort of the elderly and increase property value.

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