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5 Home Improvement Tips for an Elderly-Friendly Home

June 27, 2019

To age is a privilege and to be able to age in place, in your own home, is an honour not many receive. If you own your home and are planning to live there in your golden years or if you have elderly parents who want to age at home, consider renovating to make it safer and more functional for their needs.

Here is a list of five small renovations to consider for the comfort and safety of your elderly loved ones at home:

1. Reconfigure your bathtub and shower stalls

Temasya Glenmarie, Subang by Klaas Interiors Sdn. Bhd.
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View this project by Klaas Interiors Sdn. Bhd.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries for the elderly and bathtubs can certainly be a slippery hazard. So what can you do? Consider removing the bathtub completely or replacing it with a more senior-friendly model like a walk-in bathtub. If you are getting rid of your tub, think about a bathroom remodel with a curbless shower. Not only are curbless showers a stylish minimalist concept; it’s also safer, easier to clean, and suitable for all members of the family, young and old.

2. Update the hardware/accessories of furniture and fixtures

N'Dira Townhouse, Puchong South by Matt Design
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View this project by Matt Design

Getting older can make even simple tasks like turning a knob or opening a drawer difficult, especially for arthritic or weakened fingers. Switch out knobs for wide pulls, install easy-turn levers on taps, and look for push-to-open cabinet doors. You might also want to install or update drawer sliders so it can roll out easily without much effort.

3. Replace flooring

Materials such as ceramic or porcelain tile and natural stone can get really slippery when wet and offers no cushion from falls.

63 Residence, Sungai Pelek by Lequen Construction And Renovation Group
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If you don’t have the budget to replace your flooring, consider applying anti-slip coating or treatments to reduce the risk of falls from slippery floors. add rugs or carpeting that is smoothly tacked down to minimise falls (less slippery). It also helps to soften the surface in case of falls.

4. Taller toilets

Ara Vista, Ara Damansara by Pocket Square
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View this project by Pocket Square

Bending lower gets harder as you get older; it may be physically painful, cause spasms, and might even be impossible for those with lower mobility. Thus, replacing toilets that are 16 inches or less in height with models that are 17 to 20 inches tall (depending on the height of the person using the toilet) might improve their comfort.

5. Improve lighting

Damai Perdana by IQI Concept Interior Design & Renovation
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Elderly folks often suffer from failing sight, making their depth perception less accurate and this could lead to falls and other injuries. Ensure that lighting in the home is even and optimally bright for aging eyes. Smart lighting systems with motion sensors are great for elderly folks who move around the house late at night as they need not fiddle with switches, minimising chances of falling.

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