According to a 2012 AARP report, nearly 90% of people aged 65 and older wish to remain in their own homes as long as they are able. The report also showed that 80% of older Americans are committed to staying in place while they age. Finally, about 25% of the respondents plan to make modifications to their homes to make it easier for them to age in place. This information led us to investigate which home improvements and modifications are the most popular among seniors and retirees to make aging in place more comfortable and convenient for them. Some home improvements are much more costly than others, but they all make it easier for seniors and retirees to age in place.
One of the most popular home improvements for seniors and retirees is installing a stair lift. Climbing the stairs to upper floors often becomes difficult for older Americans, as they may develop muscle weakness and instability. Seniors also find it easier to carry laundry up and down the stairs when riding on a stair lift. Stair lifts carry a hefty price tag, but they are a less expensive option than installing elevators, which can cost as much as $30,000. Most stair lifts require custom-fit tracks for staircases, so it is a good idea to have them professionally installed.
Seniors and retirees may find it difficult to climb in and out of the bathtub. One of the more popular home improvements to solve this challenge is installing a walk-in bathtub. Over the years, walk-in tubs have become more convenient or luxurious, with some featuring quick drains and others featuring air massage systems with therapeutic jets. Another option is to install a walk-in shower and tub combination.
Bathroom Grab Bars and Safety Rails
There are a number of grab bars and safety rails available that can make the bathroom safer for seniors and retirees. Grab bars may be located on the bathtub and next to the toilet, and safety rails and safety frames may be installed on the commode to give seniors something to hold on to while transferring to and from the bathtub and toilet. Bathroom grab bars and safety rails are especially helpful for seniors who have trouble with balance or who are unsteady on their feet. Retirees who worry about slipping in the shower appreciate the added peace of mind that shower handles provide.
Lever-Style Door Handles
As seniors and retirees develop arthritis and lose some grip strength, they choose to replace their standard round doorknobs with lever-style door handles. Lever-style door handles do not require the same level of grip that traditional round doorknobs do, so they ease the level of difficulty seniors and retirees face when opening doors in their homes. Lever-style door handles are available for interior and exterior doors, and some feature unique push-pull mechanisms to make them even easier and more convenient for seniors.
Motorized or Automated Blinds
It can be difficult for seniors and retirees to operate blinds. An increasingly popular home improvement is installing motorized or automated blinds, complete with remote controls. These window treatments allow seniors and retirees to control their blinds without standing up, reaching across furniture, and reaching up high or bending low to make adjustments. Because of their custom nature, motorized or automated blinds should be measured and installed by a professional.
Many seniors and retirees invest in home improvements because they prefer to remain in their own homes and age in place as long as possible. While home improvements may seem costly at first, seniors and retirees soon realize that making some improvements to their homes for added safety, convenience, and comfort is well worth the investment.
About the Author
Angela Stringfellow is an author from Snappy Services. Snappy is an electrical, heating and air (HVAC), & plumbing services company in Georgia. You can learn more about the services offered by Snappy in some of their most popular areas by following the links below:
- Decatur, Georgia – http://snappyservices.com/service-areas/decatur-georgia/
- Roswell, Georgia – http://snappyservices.com/service-areas/roswell-georgia/
- Marietta, Georgia – http://snappyservices.com/service-areas/marietta-georgia/
- Atlanta, Georgia – http://snappyservices.com/service-areas/atlanta-georgia/