There’s no question about it, most folks would prefer to stay in their homes as get older. Over 20% of the US population will be over the age of 65 by 2030. A term has been coined to describe the systems and industry that has sprung up to cater to people that would like to live in their homes as long as possible – it’s called “aging in place”. If you’re getting older and would like to age in place, than you should be thinking about ways you can make your home more comfortable, functional, and easy to live in as you get older. Luckily for you, there are several simple things you can do to accomplish this.
You might already be familiar with some of the solutions. Shower seats and grab bars are accoutrements that have been added to homes for many years. You can take this a step further by upgrading to a no-step shower, and by upgrading to a higher toilet seat that’s easier to sit down and get up from. Aging in place shouldn’t stop with making your bathroom safer. Making updates to your indoor and outdoor lighting, as well as your kitchen, bedroom, and living areas should all be considered. One of the biggest challenges people face as they get older is safely getting in and out of your home. Door knobs can be a hassle if you suffer from arthritis, and if you have a walker or wheelchair, it can be extremely difficult to simply enter or exit your home.
Widening your entryway is a great idea for aging in place. To accommodate larger walkers and wheelchairs, an entryway should be a minimum of 32 inches wide. Even if you do not need a wheelchair, a wider opening makes it easier to enter and exit your home safely, as well as move larger or heavier objects in and out.
Mr. Rogers offers custom entry doors that can accommodate wider entrances, and offers different types of handles to make it easier on your wrists. Arthritis is extremely common in the elderly, and a regular doorknob can be painful to operate. Lever-style handles are much easier to operate, and these can be added to both exterior and interior doors in your home.
Another thing to think about is the walkway leading up to your front door, and the surrounding entrance itself. A no-step entryway can be installed to safeguard against slips and falls, and automatic lighting can be added to your pathway to illuminate it after dark.
Your front door might not always be the most convenient way to enter or exit your home. Sometimes, the patio is more suitable for making changes when upgrading your home to age in place. Sliding doors may be a convenient solution for getting in and out safely and easily. If you go this route, make sure the walkway to the patio door entrance is up to date, easy to navigate, and properly illuminated once the sun goes down.
If you’d like to discuss making changes to your home to safely and gracefully age in place, give Mr. Rogers a call. We’d love to discuss your project with you, and we can offer advice about what will work best in your home. All our entry doors are customizable and built to fit your home to your exact specifications. Drop us a line and we’ll set up a date to stop by for a free in-home consultation.