What Is Aging in Place, And Why Is It Right For You?

What Is Aging in Place, And Why Is It Right For You?

Are you a senior thinking about aging in place? With the rising cost of long-term care, it makes sense to have the desire to age in your own home. 

Is aging in place right for you? What changes can you make to your home to make it more accessible, comfortable, and safe?

What Is Aging in Place?

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Aging in place is a term that refers to an elderly person making a conscious decision to stay in their home as long as they can with the comforts that are important to them. The aim is to stay as long as they’re able, as they age. 

Aging in place is a viable option for seniors who want to get the help they need to live day-to-day life, but still maintain their independence.  

But aging in place is more than just ensuring seniors get to live where they choose and get any help they need for as long as they can. It’s also about maintaining and/or improving their quality of life. 

To do that, they need a good plan that not only focuses on their quality of life, but also their wellbeing, home, finances, and care. It’s important for seniors aging in place to maintain or modify this plan as their situation changes.

For example, as we age, our bodies and capabilities change, which often means we aren’t able to do some of the things we used to do when we were younger, or our ability to do those things are diminished.

Below are common changes you might experience as you age:

  • Reduced vision and hearing
  • Decreased mobility
  • Increased risk of falls due to bone fragility and balance issues
  • Increased risk of illness due to a potentially compromised immune system
  • Decreased muscle strength or endurance

Due to those changes, you may need support that helps you age at home. This support might include:

  • Personal care
  • Household chores
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Healthcare and medication management
  • Safety
  • Getting around (at home or in town)

Home Renovations for Seniors Aging in Place

Beyond the typical arrangements you might make for aging in place, there’s one vital aspect that many seniors and their families often neglect—home modifications. 

Since some seniors prefer to age in place, it makes sense that they may want to make changes to their homes to better accommodate the challenges that come with aging. Making certain changes to your home can help with mobility issues and can make your home more accessible all-around.

Below are common aging in place renovations that help seniors better navigate their home.

Bathroom Renovations

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The bathroom can be a very dangerous place for anyone, especially older adults with mobility issues, balance problems, and decreased muscle strength. 

For example, things like getting up from the toilet or taking a shower can suddenly become a challenge as you age. The solution? Install grab bars, which can help you maintain balance while getting out of the tub or getting up from the toilet. 

Other changes you might make to your bathroom for better accessibility include:

  • Replacing your bathtub with a walk-in shower
  • Installing a raised toilet seat
  • Installing a bidet toilet seat attachement
  • Incorporating shower chairs
  • Installing roll-in showers with multiple shower heads
  • Placing non-slip mats outside your shower and in front of your toilet

Kitchen Renovations

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As you age, you might find that your appliances are harder to reach and that your countertops and cabinetry are too high, especially if you’re in a wheelchair. Getting a professional contractor to adjust the counter height and lower the sink can allow you to easily access parts of your kitchen from a seated position. 

Additional kitchen modifications may include:

  • Installing a pullout pantry
  • Placing the microwave at or below counter height
  • Allowing extra room for maneuverability
  • Installing non-slip flooring

Other Home Renovations

  • Adding ramps for wheelchair accessibility
  • Widening doorways for walkers/wheelchairs
  • Installing lever-style door knobs for arthritis/limited range of motion in the wrist
  • Handrails to provide stability
  • Replacing carpet with flooring that’s easy to navigate
  • Updating lighting to make rooms brighter

Common Questions Associated With Aging in Place Renovations

As you age in place, you might have a lot of questions regarding aging in place home modifications. Here, we try to answer some of the most common ones.

How can I remodel my home, while keeping my abilities in mind?

Whether you have a disability or are just dealing with normal changes that come with aging, think about what your health will be like in 10 years. 

Try to think about what remodeling can do now, in six months, and in the next year. Working with a contractor can help you lay out a plan that will, over time, get your house where it needs to be to keep you comfortable and safe as you navigate it.

Is remodeling for aging in place expensive?

Here’s the bad news: Yes, you’re going to need to spend money on remodeling your home to accommodate your changing needs as you age. The good news? Most remodeling projects cost under $10,000, which is generally less expensive than what you might pay living in a nursing home

Is this going to look “institutional”?

Worried that your aging in place renovations will make your home look like a retirement home, with large grab bars and raised commodes? Today’s home remodeling looks nothing like that. Thanks to technology, products, designs, and styles are modern and can blend right in with the style of your home.

Which areas of my home should I prioritize when remodeling for aging in place?

Just like any other house remodel, the two main rooms you want to think about are the bathroom and kitchen. In your bathroom, it’s all about improving safety by making changes like creating a roll-in shower, raising the toilet, and putting in support bars. When it comes to remodeling the kitchen, focus on making things more accessible and easy to use by lowering cabinets and adding more lighting.

Make Your Home More Accessible With McManus Kitchen and Bath

If you’re looking to make changes to your home so that you can have a high quality of life as you age in place, work with McManus Kitchen and Bath. We’re here to help you achieve a home you feel comfortable and safe living in, all while creating a beautiful design that blends right in with the style of your home. Contact us today to schedule a consult.

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McManus Kitchen and Bath is a design and build company specializing in kitchen and bath remodels