There’s no place like home but sometimes our house can make navigating daily life harder as we age.
You want to be able to enjoy later life so there is range of things you can do to modify your home for easier living, depending on your needs and stage of life.
Falling is one of the biggest risks for older people. Uneven flooring and a multitude of mats are trip hazards that should be removed.
When looking at the key rooms of your house, the kitchen and the bathroom, accessibility is key. Consider whether doors can be widened and if the shelving height can be adjusted to help you reach things more easily.
Relocating appliances like microwaves so you don’t have to stretch, and installing ovens with controls at the front can all make everyday tasks simpler.
In the bathroom, look at taking out the step into the shower so the floor is even, laying non-slip flooring, and widening shower doors. Just like the kitchen, think about whether taps and sinks are easily accessible or whether they might need to be lowered.
And don’t forget the outdoors. Some people stop going for a walk because the path outside their house is uneven or they don’t feel safe. Simple things like installing sensor lights could help with this.
If you work with a home care provider, they will have specialists like Occupational Therapists who can evaluate your home and suggest changes based on your needs that will help you to continue living well. They can also help coordinate trades and work with approved providers to ensure the quality of the workmanship.
And, if you’re worried about costs, there may be Government funding available depending on whether you meet the eligibility criteria. Under the Commonwealth Government’s Home Care Packages, money is available to cover modifications that will help you remain living independently at home. Services such as Amana Living can help you to determine if you may be eligible and to help navigate the next steps.
Often when we think about the changes needed to our home, we delay them as we don’t know where to start and don’t want our home looking like a pseudo care home but this is not the case.
The most important thing is that your quality of life isn’t compromised for the sake of independence. Making the right home improvements can help you to continue living at home, keeping you safe and well, and enjoying the second half of life.