When you find the house of your dreams and move in, you picture yourself living there forever, raising a family and creating memories. During this time, you might not think about certain factors that can happen in the future, such as the stairs becoming more difficult or the kitchen becoming hazardous. When you’ve spent your life making sure your house is perfect, all that time and money you’ve invested will be worth it. This is why more and more people are looking to future-proof their homes to make sure that their family are safe and comfortable as they start to get older. No one knows what’s around the corner, so it’s important to look after your physical needs and make certain adaptations within your home so your home is safe forever.
The heart of any home, the kitchen is a hardworking room that gets refitted on average, around 2.5 times in the lifetime of a family living in a house. The kitchen can be seen as one of the most hazardous rooms in the house, especially for someone that has mobility difficulties, or is visually or hearing impaired. Luckily, there are many ways in which you can make your kitchen safer, through the use of careful planning, positioning and even specialised gadgets.
As you’re heading towards older age and thinking about a kitchen refit, you should consider thinking about the positioning of the sink, hob, cooker and fridge. It’s important to keep your appliances closer together as you get older, so you have less distance to travel, and it’s useful if you are carrying a heavy pan from the cooker to the sink.
The heights of appliances are also something to consider, to minimise the amount of unnecessary bending and stretching that could lead to injury. Also, if you have deep cupboards, consider pull-out racks or even drawers instead of shelves to make sure you can still get to all your items at the back of your cupboards with ease.
Lighting in the kitchen is really important for people who have a visual impairment, so make sure that there is plenty of bright lighting above high-use areas. Lighting is key for areas where you will be chopping food, as well as more ambient lighting which will make sure floors are clearly visible.
Like the kitchen, the bathroom is another room that is full of potential hazards for people with reduced movement, or disabilities if not thought through properly. Bathing and showering both need a lot of careful consideration, as the risk is generally around the mobility needed to get in and out and also the danger of slipping. You can find baths on the market that are specially designed for older people. There are also walk-in baths available which have a fully sealable door that enables the user to walk in and out of the bath, and once the door is shut the bath can be filled as normal.
If a shower is preferred then you will have to look into shower trays which can be made almost flush with the floor to allow for wheeled access either in a chair or walker. Shower seats are a popular choice and are widely available to give people more stability, they can also be removable or attached to the wall. You can also have grab rails fitted to the walls around the bathroom to help with manoeuvring and to minimise the chances of slipping. It’s important to consider the positioning of all the bathroom appliances to ensure everything is easy to reach and the space can be navigated safely.
Climbing the stairs can become a difficult task as we get older, but for some people, they are a very intimidating part of the house. Issues with hips, knees, energy levels and dizziness are a few reasons why many older people don’t feel confident climbing the stairs. For a few people, this can mean that the whole of the upstairs is out of bounds, and can be extremely limiting.
For this reason, a lot of people are starting to future-proof their homes to avoid any potential injuries caused by the stairs, so installing a home lift is a popular choice for many. Installing a home lift can add value to the home, and is a piece of equipment that can be used by anyone, and many people are installing them before it becomes an absolute necessity.
Home lifts provide you with simple movement between floors and it’s all at the touch of a button. Home lifts are an alternative to a stairlift and can, usually, be installed within a day with minimal building work and very little disruption.
If you want to find out more about home lifts to future-proof your home, contact our team and we’ll give you all the information you need to help you.