We all want our homes to look fabulous, but as you get older, functionality and safety become key priorities. If you’re planning a mini makeover, or you’re hoping to revamp your home to make it more senior-friendly, we’ve got some brilliant ideas. Here are some tips to help you create a home that will make your home more senior friendly.
The flooring you choose for your home can have a significant influence on the aesthetic appeal of different rooms, but it also has a practical role to play. As you get older, you may experience reduced or restricted mobility, and you might also find that you are less able to keep up with jobs like vacuuming. Wood flooring is an excellent option for seniors, as it is no hassle to maintain and it makes floors easy to cover if you need to use mobility aids or a wheelchair. Wood floors also add warmth and coziness to living spaces, and they suit both modern and traditional decor. You can choose from different types of wood and select a finish and shade that complements the style and size of the rooms. Lighter tones are ideal for small spaces where there is a lack of natural light, for example, corridors.
Open-plan living is hugely popular now, but in years gone by, it was fashionable to have separate living and dining areas. Many older houses have a series of smaller rooms on the ground floor, rather than accessible, spacious kitchen-diners. Open areas are well-suited to families, and they’re also a great option for seniors. With a versatile living space, you can cook, watch TV, socialize, read, relax and work without using a host of different rooms, and you can spend quality time with friends and family members. All this make your home more senior friendly. If you do have a separate dining room or laundry area, or you have more than one living room, it’s worth exploring the possibility of knocking through or taking down a wall to create a larger, brighter, more functional space. This idea will be particularly appealing if you use a wheelchair, or you struggle to get around without support. If you are thinking about this kind of renovation job, it’s always wise to get a series of quotes before you decide which company to choose and to read reviews and ask neighbors and friends for recommendations.
If you don’t already have a bathroom on the ground floor, this is an extremely useful addition as you reach your senior years. Even if you’re fit and you have no trouble getting around, it’s beneficial to have access to a toilet without having to climb the stairs during the day. Altering the floorplan or the layout of your main living spaces could free up room for a small cloakroom. You could also consider adding a ground floor extension if you’re willing to take on a larger-scale job and there is sufficient space at the back or side of the house. Be sure to fit out the bathroom with mixer taps, which are easier to use than traditional taps. Home extensions usually take several weeks, but they make a huge difference to the amount of space available and they add substantial value to properties.
Making your home more energy-efficient
When you stop working, and you don’t have money coming in on a regular basis, it’s beneficial to save as much as possible on living costs. Making your home more energy-efficient is advantageous for the environment, but it will also reduce your bills significantly. One of the most important considerations for seniors is temperature. You want your home to be cozy and comfortable, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on heating bills. Adding insulation and improving heat retention is an excellent way to reduce energy consumption. You can also replace old light bulbs and electrical appliances with energy-efficient alternatives and consider investing in double glazing if you don’t already have double-glazed windows. Double glazing will keep your home warmer, and it will also reduce external noise and enhance security.
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Making space for hobbies and interests
One of the best things about retiring is having more time to devote to hobbies and interests. Many of us complain that we simply don’t have enough hours in the day to indulge our passions when we’re working. If you’re keen to pick up old pastimes, or you’d like to spend more time doing activities that you love as you get older, it’s a brilliant idea to make space at home. You can set aside tranquil spots in living areas or spare bedrooms that are rarely used for activities like writing, reading, listening to music or sewing or knitting, and you can design creative spaces for painting, drawing, sculpting, making new clothes or creating DIY gifts. Think about the colors you use when painting walls or choosing soft furnishings and set the tone with lighting and accessories. For quiet areas, stick to muted, soft shades and add texture with bean bag chairs, floor cushions and armchairs and cushions, throws and blankets. Use low-level lighting to add ambiance. For creative spaces, you can be bolder with colors and patterns, opting for a statement wall in a studio or workshop and adding accessories to put your own unique stamp on the room. When you add a crafting or hobby area, it will automatically make your home more senior friendly.
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Having a hobby as you get older can help to boost mental wellbeing, and it’s a constructive way to use your time and meet new people and stay in touch with existing friends. It’s also beneficial to have an area where you can exercise. Being active is essential for physical and mental health. Activities like yoga and low-intensity Pilates are ideal for improving flexibility, suppleness and mobility. You can follow classes or online sessions at your own pace in the comfort of your own home.
As we get older, our routines change and the way we use our homes can also vary. If you’re approaching your senior years, it’s wise to think about how practical your home is, and how you could make it more functional. You want your home to look the part, but it also needs to complement your lifestyle and provide a safe haven for you.