Home sweet home can become home not so sweet home as we age and our needs change.
Stairs that once seemed so lovely and grand can suddenly seem like barriers
preventing us from accessing parts of our houses. Tubs where we once enjoyed
soothing bubble baths become unusable and unsafe. Even door handles and
kitchen cabinet knobs of certain trendy designs can become a challenge
as we age and cope with ailments such as arthritis.
In response to the question of where do we want to age, many people say
in our own homes. If that is our goal, then most of us have to start casting
a critical eye at the barriers in our homes that over time will start
to stand in the way of that desire.
Some of the barriers can be easily eliminated, like for instance area rugs.
As we age, area rugs become more and more of a tripping hazard. Moving
appliances such as washers, dryers and microwaves to a level that minimizes
reaching and bending can be another of the easier fixes. Other barriers
take more time and money to alter, like for instance remodeling bathrooms,
moving the master bedroom downstairs and installing ramps.
The good news is that more and more contractors are becoming educated and
experienced in remodeling homes to allow for a safer and more practical
aging in place experience. So, if your dream is to age in place, it is
never too early to start educating yourself on what alterations to your
current living space may be necessary to allow that dream to become a reality.