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7 Renovation Tips For A Safe & Comfortable Retirement Home

July 15, 2020
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As we get older, daily tasks that were once done without any thought can become troublesome and even dangerous. The risk of tripping or taking a fall increases with age and decline related to health issues. As mobility decreases, dangers in the home environment seem to rise.

Taman Gunung Tahan, Alor Setar by Vault Design Lab Sdn Bhd

However, many people make the mistake of waiting too long before renovating their home to accommodate their changing needs. By making age-proof home improvements now, you will be able to save time, money, and inconvenience in the future. Here are some improvement tips to ensure that your home will stay safe and comfortable for old age.

Explore: These Home Improvements Could Save You Money in the Long Run

1. Eliminate potential obstacles

When preparing a home for retirement, consider reducing the number of furniture pieces available in each room. A simple home with minimal furniture and less clutter can avoid potential tripping hazards.

Link House, Perak by Red Land Design

Interior Firm: Red Land Design

2. Relocate your bedroom to the lower floor

While climbing stairs might seem effortless now, in the years ahead, a health condition or disability might make the trip a burden in the future.

Morgan Shorefront, George Town by Vault Design Lab Sdn Bhd

In fact, the most dangerous place in the home is the stairs, where narrow steps or slippery surfaces of stairs can cause serious injuries and even fatalities, according to World Health Organization. So if you are renovating your double-storey home for future retirement, consider relocating the bedroom on the ground floor.

3. Install adequate lighting

A well-lit and bright home is very important when renovating a home for retirement as you will need a higher quality of light to see, due to the increased chance of eyesight impairment. Go through each room of your home and take note of spots that could use extra lighting to prevent chances of falls and mishaps.

Duta Villa, Setia Alam by Cube Creation Sdn. Bhd.

When replacing light bulbs, consider using high-powered, energy-efficient LEDs as this will not only save the strain on their eyes but also reduce your energy bill every month.

High levels of light also have other benefits beyond visibility. As you are more likely to be less active and stay indoors longer during your retirement, you will less likely be exposed to a lot of natural light. Bright lightbulbs will help simulate sunlight on your bodies and promote things like proper sleep patterns.

Duta Villa, Setia Alam by Cube Creation Sdn. Bhd.

4. Replace bathtubs with walk-in showers

As we get older, bathrooms pose major dangers as you have higher chances of falling due to slippery floors. A walk-in shower is ideal for people with leg and vision problems since it gets harder to step in and out of a tub as you age.

Araville by Pocket Square

Interior Firm: Pocket Square

Also, consider installing a bench to sit in the shower to decrease the amount of time you stand in the shower besides easing the strain on your body while showering. Be sure to install or buy a bench that is large enough to comfortably sit and bathe on. If space is limited in the shower, consider a bench seat that can flip up when not in use.

Araville by Pocket Square

Interior Firm: Pocket Square

You should also consider installing grab bars or rails in your bathroom to help reduce the risk of falling. Switching knob-style bathroom faucets to faucets with a lever-style handle is also a great age-friendly upgrade that you can incorporate in your home.

5. Improve your kitchen functionality

When it comes to creating an accessible kitchen, what modifications you can do will be dependent on your needs.

Villa Bovelin, Kuala Lumpur by Ee Design Studio

Interior Firm: Ee Design Studio

For instance, installing pull-out drawers or racks and placing the microwave on a counter or on the same height as the counter is handy for elderly residents because it provides easy access to your kitchenware, tools and dishes without digging through deep cabinets. As a result, you don’t have to bend over or reach the back of the cabinet to take out a pot or pan, because you might have trouble getting back up later!

6. Install non-slippery floor materials

When choosing floor materials, consider installing one that has a high slip resistance that can decrease the likelihood of an injury from a fall. You can spot a floor with good slip resistance by looking for grooves or feeling for texture. Generally speaking, the more textured a floor is, the higher its slip resistance.

Verde Ara Damansara by Movent

Interior Firm: Movent

Materials such as ceramic or porcelain tiles or laminate flooring retain less moisture so they are less slippery for elderly homeowners. Plus, it is also very easy to maintain and clean.

Explore: Pros and Cons of 5 Popular Flooring Materials

7. Install floating shelves within easy reach

When renovating your home for the long term, it’s best to think about how you physically may change in the years to come.

Summer Skye Residences, Bayan Lepas by IN.C Design

Interior Firm: IN.C Design

For instance, when installing floating shelves, request your interior designer to incorporate some of these at mid-height, where it is easy for you to reach as you get older, without the possible chance of getting an injury. Open shelves are also a convenient way for you to store and locate your essentials such as medicine pills, reading glasses and etc. besides keeping your home attractive and tidy.

Looking to renovate your home for future retirement?

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