Life expectancy in the United States is rising. From 2018 through 2060, the population of Americans 65 and older will grow from 52 million to 95 million, the Population Reference Bureau estimates. We need more ways to help the elderly stay healthy and independent as the population ages. The notion of universal design, which attempts to make items and buildings accessible to individuals of various ages, abilities, and other qualities, is here. To promote "aging in place," universal design has many components that support the idea that is allowing elderly people to remain at home for as long as possible benefits their quality of life. Aging-in-place, on the other hand, necessitates homes that can accommodate our evolving needs. Here are the home features seniors should look for in Florida.
Low illumination and small windows that don't allow enough light may be acceptable to certain people. However, elderly downsizers should prioritize finding a home with various light sources. A dark home might become dangerous for its occupants as they grow older. It's vital to detect obstacles of all sizes, even if they're as small as a pair of shoes. A well-lit interior and large windows that allow natural light to penetrate are two of the most essential home features seniors should look for.
Lower countertops and kitchen cabinets
The kitchen is integral to each home, regardless of age or income level. Elderly and others with limited mobility can fully participate in food preparation if the counters are a few inches lower than the standard height. Additionally, the sharp corners pose a threat to the elderly, especially after moving to a new place. Many moving services advise considering lower countertops when relocating to a new home. So, before a reliable team can handle it, round out all the corners and edges of the kitchen counters. In the event of a fall, lessening the number of 90-degree angles could protect you from bruising and other injuries. Additionally, older folks and others who rely on a wheelchair or mobility scooter may appreciate the convenience of lower cabinets with pull-out shelves, "lazy Susan" corner cabinets, and easy-pull handles.
The bathroom is one of the most dangerous places in the house, especially for the elderly. That's why the most crucial home features seniors should look for are right here. Look for grab bars near the toilet or in other places of the room where assistance is needed. For those who can't have a step-in shower due to mobility issues, installing grab bars will help them get in and out of the shower. Remember to check for stability of the grab bars, though! Many homeowners will put their best foot forward during an open house, but some will just make the bathroom look accessible without actually attaching the grab bars to the wall.
Additionally, if you're concerned about scorching yourself in the shower, a pressure-balanced control can help your out. And, it will do the same thing for you at the sink! Also, consider the shower head- with limited mobility, it's easier to use a handheld shower head than a fixed shower head.
High-volume sound systems
Hearing loss is typical as we age. That's why one of the home features seniors should look for is the sound system. The doorbell must be audible in every room; therefore, an intercom that is also a doorbell is necessary. A phone with adjustable volume control and a large numerical keypad can help people with visual, hearing, or dexterity challenges.
As we age and get a little bit forgetful, we may leave the lights on or the faucets running. An appliance monitoring system may be used by anybody, even from a distance, to shut off the appliances. The system also notifies the user if any unexpected activity is seen. A smartphone app may be used to manage smart lighting, allowing older people to avoid having to turn the lights on and off themselves manually. It is also possible to control smart blinds with smartphones for seniors who have difficulties reaching or standing up on their own.
It is also possible to cut energy use and utility costs by using smart thermostats and lighting. To save money and protect your loved ones, you may set timers for your lights so that they turn on and off only when you wish. Auto-opening doors and cupboards may make life easier for those who use walkers or crutches.
Tabletop height plug points
Older people with back pain may find that plug points located at tabletop height instead of one foot from the floor make it easier to connect or disconnect electrical devices. Installing these, especially if you're retiring up, can become quite a hassle pretty quickly. So tabletop height plug points are definitely one of the home features seniors should look for.
In a senior's home, the main entry should not have any steps if at all possible. The doorway and the hallway should be at least 3.5 feet wide. This is to make it easier for wheelchair users to get around. Placing a bench near the entryway can make it more welcoming. While unlocking the main door, you can use this to put whatever you have in your hands down. Sitting while tying or untying your shoelaces is also an option with a bench.
Despite the apparent dangers of slippery floors, other parts of the home pose a simial threat. For example, rugs! You can place non-skid mats under area rugs to make the floor more slip-resistant. Trip points like thresholds should be eliminated or reduced in height if possible. Another thing to consider is the type of carpeting. Low-pile carpeting is best for folks who use walkers because the walker won't get caught in the deep pile and risk a fall.
As more and more people opt to age in place, these residences must satisfy their specific requirements. We hope our article has helped you learn about the home features seniors should look for.