As you’re nearing your golden years, there are lots of things you can do to your home to make it more suitable. It’s always better to be prepared, and make these steps before you have to. If you leave it too late, you could find your home becomes unmanageable, and you could end up hurting yourself unnecessarily.
We’ve put together a list of cost-effective improvements you can make to your house to help future proof it as you retire.
Adjust the Garden
It’s not just the house you should prepare for your retirement. The garden needs a look too. That can include adding a handrail to stairs. You may want to consider changing the stairs to a ramp too, as steps can be a hazard for older people. It might not be a problem now, but further down the line it can be a real issue.
There are other changes you can make to the garden. If you enjoy gardening, you should get raised flower beds or pots so you don’t have to bend as far when working in the garden. If you have paving stones, or gravel, you should also replace any uneven stones and go for a smoother, more level option.
Gardens require maintenance, like cutting the grass, that can be difficult for older people to do. You should think about paying someone to do this, or pick an alternative like artificial grass.
Add a Home Lift if You Have Stairs
If you have stairs in your home, it’s the first thing you’ll want to adjust. Stairs might be alright now, but as you grow older, you will find it harder to get up and down them. Plenty of older people have a home lift they can use to get them from the ground floor up the hard steps. They can be added with minimal disruption and building work so you can continue accessing all areas of your home.
Get an Electric Garage Door
As you move into retirement, you’ll want to ensure your home has better security. But you’ll also want to avoid back and shoulder issues from moving your manual garage door up and down all the time. An electric garage door doesn’t require you to manually move it when you’re opening and closing it, so it’s the perfect option for someone who is older.
With an electric garage door, you can use the remote control fob to open and close it from the comfort of your vehicle, or indoors, to avoid being stuck outside in the rain and braving the UK weather. You also avoid any potential injuries. It’s a convenient and cheap change to make to help future proof your home for retirement.
Get a Walk-In Bath or Shower
Slips and trips are a common hazard in the home for everyone, but especially for older people. Most of these take place in a bath or shower. If you have a bath, you might find that it’s getting more difficult to get in and out of it. You can get the entire bathroom set up as a wet room to help aid you during the times that you need it.
Other solutions could include having a big shower set up, with a wipe-friendly chair for you to sit on in the shower and prevent any potential falls. Shower trays can also line up perfectly with the floor, preventing any trip hazards as you step in and out. You can also install a handrail to help support you getting in and out of a bath or shower.
Your bathroom should also always be easy to access. If you’ve got one upstairs only, consider adding a bathroom onto each floor of your property if you have the space. Or move to a bungalow where you don’t need to negotiate stairs every time you have to use the toilet.
Set Up a Key Safe
A key safe is a little box attached to the outside of your property with a key inside, that can only be accessed by entering a code which is usually six digits. Carers or family members usually use them to gain access to your home without you needing to get up and go to the door every time. They are completely secure and have even been approved by the police. You can install it to a shed or outhouse to keep it out of sight if you’re worried about people trying to use them to enter your property.