5 Home Upgrades You Should Make If You're Over 65

"Multi-generational" homes are becoming more popular, which is making architects and designers pay more attention to privacy and making sure everyone can move around easily. Of course, not everyone can make their own house plans.

 Some older people want to move into a condo or a community for people their age. But if you plan to stay in your home for a long time, you might want to think about making some changes so that you and your friends and family can stay safe and active at home, even if your body isn't as strong as it used to be. 

Make use of smart home technology.

Smart home technology is a great way to make life around the house easier, since you can control home devices with a tablet or a smartphone. "Home systems that let you turn on the lights or heat make it easier to be on your own. Also, medical alert systems like fall detectors and systems that watch the environment could be very important."

Look to the lighting.

"This is especially true when going up and down stairs, whether they are inside or outside. We tend to get comfortable, and as we get older, we don't move our feet as much. That light can be a reminder to get up and move around."

Adjust heights in the kitchen.

"A lot of people raise or lower the height of their kitchen countertops, depending on how tall they are. "People who decide to stay in their homes don't care about resale, so they make it their own." People who use wheelchairs or need to sit while cooking might need lower counters, while taller people might get less back pain with higher counters.

Add safety features in the bathroom.

Wet floors in bathrooms are notorious for making people trip and fall. For seniors who have trouble getting up and down in tight spaces, the bathroom can also be hard to get around in. A step-in shower with a bench or seat that can be moved or built-in is much better than having to step over the side of a tub. There must also be a hand shower as well as a spray from above.

Enlarge doorways for wheelchair access.

Widening doorways to fit a wheelchair is another upgrade you might not think about until you need it. You can change your doors to match the style of your home. For example, sliding pocket doors work well in larger doorways. "Open up key rooms where it makes sense, like by taking out a kitchen island, so that wheelchairs and other large mobility aids are easier to use.

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