As we age, our physical abilities change, and our priorities shift. One area that is often overlooked is our homes. Many homes are not designed for aging in place, which can create significant challenges as we grow older. If you own a two-story house, it is essential to consider how you can retirement-proof it so that you can continue to live comfortably and safely in your home as you age. Here are some tips on how to retirement-proof a two-story house.
Install a Stairlift
One of the biggest challenges of a two-story house is navigating the stairs. Climbing stairs can become increasingly difficult as we age, and it can be dangerous if we have mobility issues. Installing a stairlift can make a huge difference in making your home more accessible. Stairlifts can be customized to fit your specific staircase and can be installed quickly and easily.
Add Grab Bars and Handrails
Adding grab bars and handrails to your staircase, bathroom, and other areas of your home can provide additional support and stability as you move around your house. This is particularly important in areas where you may be more likely to slip or fall, such as in the bathroom or on the stairs.
Consider a First-Floor Master Suite
If you have a two-story house, you may want to consider converting one of the first-floor rooms into a master suite. This can eliminate the need to climb stairs and make it easier to get around your home. If you already have a first-floor bedroom, you may want to consider adding an accessible bathroom with features such as a walk-in shower and grab bars.
Make Sure Your Floors Are Slip-Resistant
Slippery floors can be a significant hazard for older adults, particularly if they have mobility issues or use mobility aids such as walkers or canes. Make sure your floors are slip-resistant by using rugs with a non-slip backing, applying non-slip coatings to your floors, or using slip-resistant flooring materials such as cork or rubber.
As we age, our eyesight often deteriorates, making it more difficult to see in dimly lit areas. Installing additional lighting in your home can make a significant difference in making it easier to see and navigate around your home. Consider adding motion-activated lighting in areas such as hallways and bathrooms, and make sure your light switches are easily accessible.
Make Sure Your Home Is Well-Insulated
A well-insulated home can help regulate temperature and make it more comfortable to live in, particularly as we age and become more sensitive to temperature changes. Make sure your home is well-insulated by checking for drafts around windows and doors and adding additional insulation where needed.
Create a Low-Maintenance Yard
Maintaining a yard can become increasingly challenging as we age, particularly if we have mobility issues. Creating a low-maintenance yard can help eliminate the need for regular yard work, making it easier to maintain your home. Consider adding features such as native plants, drought-resistant landscaping, and hardscaping features such as patios and walkways.
In conclusion, retirement-proofing a two-story house involves making your home safer, more accessible, and more comfortable to live in as you age. By making a few simple changes, you can help ensure that you can continue to live in your home for many years to come.