Preparing Your Home for Your Senior Years

senior at home

Do any seniors want to move to their children’s places when they can no longer function independently? As much as senior adults love spending time with their kids and grandkids, they also want a life and space of their own. But planning isn’t as easy as it is for some people. Every situation is different, both in terms of your current and future needs.

The first thing you have to consider is any present illnesses that you or your spouse have. For example, if one of you has diabetes or emphysema, it may be difficult and even dangerous for you to take care of each other. One of you may have to move to a medical facility in the future. Is that something that either one of you can accept? How about the family’s medical history? What kind of illnesses are you looking at in the future? Are there signs that you are developing these hereditary medical conditions?

Using Technology Is the Safer Option

The first thing to do to ready the home for your senior years is to check what technology and devices are available. Most seniors use canes and scooters for mobility. But these are not the only technologies available for seniors now.

You can consider ceiling hoists for the disabled if you have conditions now that might affect your ability to walk and move around. A ceiling hoist transfers a person from one place to another (typically from the bed to the wheelchair or the door of the bathroom). A patient can use a single-user hoist system by himself, so there’s no need for a caregiver to use this technology.

Many seniors also have a personal medical alert system. This device connects to a dispatcher who monitors different devices for possible falls and accidents. The dispatcher will call for medical attention if the device sends a signal that the wearer of the medical alert is unresponsive. This system allows seniors to live independently. Even their children feel more comfortable leaving their senior parents alone with a medical alert system.

If you are comfortable losing a bit of your privacy, you can also install security cameras around the house. These will allow family members to check up on you. It’s the perfect solution for seniors who have children living all over the country or the world. They can access the cameras remotely to check how you are doing. This eliminates the need to call someone to check up on you.

Designing Your Home for Future Needs

senior home

As part of the early retirement planning, you can design your home now with your physical limitations in mind. If your master’s bedroom is on the second floor, you can convert the first-floor room into your main bedroom. You can take down walls to open it up. You can also make the doors larger in the house to accommodate the possible need for wheelchairs.

Are there elevations in your house? You can install safety railings and ramps to enable you to reach these places when you are no longer as mobile as you are now. You should also start installing handles, seat showers, and non-slip mats to ensure your safety as you move around the house.

As you near your senior years, think about changing your habits. You will have physical limitations in the future. Maybe you should garden less and take a bath in the first-floor bathroom. You can also retrofit your kitchen so it will still allow you to cook your own meals and move around the room.

Why Independence Is Important for Seniors

The reason why people redesign their homes for retirement is because they don’t want to be a burden to anyone. They don’t want to have to pay a caregiver, move to their children’s homes, or live in an assisted-living facility. Like many people, senior adults also value their independence. They want to live their remaining years with dignity, and not dependent on anyone.

They can only do this if they use technology and redesign their homes for their future needs. Maintaining their independence throughout their senior years will make them feel accomplished. It will give them a sense of well-being and self-worth not to depend on anyone even when they’re old and have limited abilities.

But even if seniors can’t live by themselves anymore in the future, they should involve themselves in the decisions about their care. This is also something that you should start to accept. As you grow older, your bones will be a little more brittle, your back is going to hurt more times than you can count, and your body will feel weaker. Care for yourself when you can, but also don’t be ashamed to seek help if you need it.

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