If you are about to embark on a home renovation for your parents, there are a number of factors to take into consideration before you start. Homeowners in advanced years have different needs than their younger counterparts which should be addressed prior to beginning any home remodel.
In fact, in today’s environment of specialized professionals, there are contractors who actually specialize in home remodeling for the elderly and physically challenged. With 70 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 65, “homes often require some improvements to become suitable for aging in place” according to Live in Place Designs, which offers home renovation contractors in NJ. Therefore, it makes tremendous sense to get a home consultation prior to beginning any remodeling project.
According to a 2011 AARP research report, almost 90 percent of people over age 65 would rather remain at home as long as they’re able, and 80 percent of older Americans have firm plans to do so. Weighing in on your parents’ home renewal so that all physical needs and therapeutic needs are met is key, while still making the space personally pleasing and comfortable. Here are five things to do prior to beginning your remodel project for the best possible outcome for your folks.
Locate the Bedroom and Bathroom on the First Floor
With home improvement comes a chance to rework important aspects of house design and implement changes that make living easier and safer to accommodate the limitations of older individuals. Architectural plans should include situating the master bedroom and bathroom on the first or main floor. This will eliminate or lessen the need to walk up and down steps, which can become difficult with aging. It will also make these rooms easier to access as your folks become less mobile.
Consider Safety Issues
There are a number of updates that can make your parents’ home much safer for everyday living. Consider starting with necessary bathroom upgrades like walk-in bathtubs to minimize slips. Adding grab rails next to the toilet, in the bathtub, as well as next to the bed allow for greater stability. Replacing round doorknobs with lever-style doorknobs around the house will prove easier for elder individuals to grasp.
Other home safety modifications include widening doorways in the event wheelchairs and walkers are required at present or in the future.
In-Home Monitoring Systems
If you are looking to achieve greater peace of mind about the well-being of your older parents when they are home alone, then it’s wise to check into in-home monitoring systems.
According to U.S. News and World Report, many “smart” homes with burglar alarms, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detection systems are also starting to offer in-home monitoring services for seniors. Some companies will even place monitors throughout the home, making it possible to track the movements of your loved ones.
Install Smart Home Solutions
Today, there are a plethora of smart home solutions that make life easier for seniors. Renovation plans should include necessary construction and decorative options that will make day to day living more convenient and safe. While some of these can be costly on their own, incorporating them during construction is always the most economical time to do so.
Disability ramps are becoming more popular and when worked into a home’s redesign from the beginning, they can be quite tastefully done without detracting from the aesthetics of the house. The same is true of stairlifts, which generally require fitting staircases with special tracks And can be expensive if done as an afterthought. When decorating, plan to incorporate remote control blinds and lights which have become readily available from most manufacturers.
Implement Sensible Power Options
Anything that can result in cost savings to aging parents should be well researched before beginning any kind of house renovation. Residential solar panels have a number of benefits that include lowering the monthly electric bill and increasing the value of one’s home.
The good news is that solar energy is also more environmentally friendly. From an electrical standpoint, automating lighting throughout the home and garage is a sensible and safe upgrade to implement to prevent your parents from unnecessary fumbling in the dark when moving about.