Renovations for the older folk

Downsizing or moving into a Retirement Village can be a daunting prospect for the elderly. .Many older folk would prefer to stay in their existing home if possible so that they can still be surrounded by their memories, chat to the neighbours they have know for decades and remain independent for as long as possible.

The amount of alterations needed depends on the mobility & health of the resident. Some things will be more of a priority and other modifications may not be required until further down the track. A lot of elderly people don’t like change and may insist that modifications are not necessary but as family we want peace of mind for ourselves, as well as wanting our loved ones to be happy and safe.

So there’s lots to be considered.

. Grab rails for the shower and toilet

. Replace shower head with one that has an adjustable height & removable hose

. Replace taps with easy to grip options

. Non slip flooring in wet areas

. A seat for the shower

. Night light in the bathroom/toilet

. Re-arranging cupboards and shelving for easier access

. Replacing shelving with easy glide drawers

. Remove the floor rugs

. Artificial grass perhaps for the outdoor paths that get slippery in the wet

. A grab rail & ramp over outdoor stairs

. Replace the old garage door with a new remote controlled door

. A bench by the front door to put groceries on while unlocking the door

. Sensor lighting outside

. Doorways widened to enable easy access for walkers or wheelchairs

. Bench heights dropped for wheelchair bound residents

. Dishwasher raised or replaced with the small drawer models

. Lift installed up the stairs

. If hearing impaired turn up the volume on the phone

. Reduce the maximum temperature of the hot water

There are builders who specialise in alterations for the elderly and are experts at jobs such as widening doorways and lowering bench heights and may be able to offer other handy hints.

If the home is old it might be a good idea to have an electrician check the wiring and install a safety switch if there is not already one in place. A safety switch will instantly detect a problem with any household appliance and cut off the power immediately, preventing injury or loss of life and property, by fire.

HomeImprovements2day can help you find the right tradesperson for the job, be it builder, carpenter, plumber or electrician and can also provide you with a list of home maintenance services such as gardeners and house, gutter or window cleaners in your area. If your loved one is friendly with the neighbours, and they are reliable, it would be a good idea to swap phone numbers and give them a spare key just in case. Also keep a diary by the phone so appointments and outings can be recorded and an easy to read list of important phone numbers such as family, neighbours and the doctor. 

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