Tips for Updating Your Home Design as You Age

As you age, your wants, needs, likes and dislikes change and evolve. This is true for every person and every stage of life. Your first apartment likely looked different than your college dorm or your childhood bedroom. Likewise, your current family room is probably much more furnished than it was when you were 25, living on your own for the first time. As you got older, what you liked and needed began to change. This is still true as you reach the later years in your life, perhaps around retirement age.

As you reach retirement, your taste in home design probably gravitates towards sophistication and class, and your needs are more imperative to meet in home design than ever before. It’s also important to design your home in a way that is practical for your age and will make growing older more comfortable.

How to Design Your Home for the Next Chapter of Your Life

As you age, it’s important to try to accommodate all needs in order to make your life easy and comfortable, especially if you develop back or knee pain or require the use of a walker or wheelchair. Here are some tips on how to update your home design as you get older.

Smart Kitchen Appliances

Smart kitchen appliances, such as smart refrigerators and smart ovens, are a great way to modernize your home design as well as a way to make cooking easier.

Smart refrigerators can take inventory as you need things, generating a grocery list for when you are going to the store. They can also order your groceries for pick-up, making your life in the kitchen as hassle-free as possible.

Smart ovens are great for aging adults because of the many safety features they now offer, such as automatic shut-off after a certain period of time. Some smart ovens can even be controlled with a mobile device, and you will get a notification if you left your home without turning the stove off.

Automated Bathroom Fixtures

As you age, you may begin to struggle with walking or standing, making it challenging to use certain fixtures around the house. Automated bathroom fixtures such as motion sensor sinks and toilets may be extremely beneficial if you are re-designing your bathroom,

as range of motion may decrease over time. Lower standing sinks and cabinets could also help in case standing becomes an issue down the road.

Install a Walk-in Shower

Walk-in showers are safer the older you get so you will not have to climb over the side of the tub to shower or sit down in the tub to bathe, which runs the risk of not being able to get up on your own. When installing a walk-in shower, it is also recommended to install railings on the inside and on the outside of the shower to make it easier to get in and out.

Create an Open Floor Plan

This is perhaps one of the most beneficial ways to update your home as you age. Open floor plans have several benefits for seniors and aging adults. Open floor plans can include widening walkways and arranging furniture in such a way that there is a clear path to walk and move around in a home. Open floor plans make it easier for aging adults if a walker or wheelchair becomes necessary.

 A senior living community in New Jersey adopted open floor plans in a majority of their residencies to make it easier for residents to get around while also eliminating the risk of any further possible injuries.

Update Lighting Fixtures

Updating lighting fixtures can include a few things for aging adults:

Installing motion sensor lighting fixtures both indoors and outdoors.

Motion sensors will turn a light on when someone walks by it. These are practical for indoor use if turning on a light switch becomes challenging. They are also great for outdoor use as a means of safety at night when it is more difficult to see.

Light switches closer to the ground.

As you age, you may have a harder time getting around and standing up. Installing light switches that are closer to the ground will be easier to access no matter if you are in a wheelchair or using a walker.

Article written by Kelsey Simpson, Medford Leas