RENOVATIONS FOR SENIORS

Aging in one’s own home is a lifestyle choice that can be managed through suitable renovations.  At Budget Home Improvements, we are available to assist you with thoughtful guidance and recommendations for you or your loved ones.

 

Home renovation was done primarily to improve resale value or upgrade features of a home, but now it is quickly becoming a means for seniors to remain in their homes longer and safely without residential hazards.

 

Our senior loved ones want to live in the home of their choice as long as possible — hopefully the rest of their lives.  For some seniors it may mean living in a home that isn’t suited to the needs of an aging adult, which may put them at risk.

 

At Budget Home Improvements, we also specialize in renovations or even simple adjustments that might be needed to enable seniors to live and remain safely in their homes.

 

Renovation Statistics

 

A recent report found that seniors wishing to age in their

own home completed the following renovations:

 

  • 76% added grab bars to one or more rooms in the home

 

  • 64% added a ramp to the home’s entrance

 

  • 44% widened doorways

 

  • 35% added a bathroom on the home’s main level

 

  • 30% added lever handles on doors

 

 

Repair and Renovation

 

Is their house safe for them to live without injury?  In order for your senior to age in place in their current home, they may need to consider potential repairs and improvements. The following questions will assist you in determining safety at home.

 

  1. Are the floors strong, the windows sealed, the front porch steps secure, the temperature controlled, is it free of mold are the stair treads secure or are there other maintenance issues?

  2. Is there adequate lighting to prevent accidents?

  3. Are there wayfinding lights so that they can find their way to the bathroom at night?

  4. Is there enough light in the hallway or closets to avoid tripping?

  5. Is there enough footlight in the living area or kitchen to do light tasks?

  6. Is there a porch light or light in the yard to see in the dark when coming and going or checking for intruders?

  7. Do they have stairs that they will no longer be able to climb just to get to bed at night or to use the bathroom?  Is it time for mainfloor living?

  8. Can they get into and out of their house with a walker or wheelchair? Do they need a ramp built?

  9. Does their home have easy access from the driveway, garage and front door?

  10. Can they get to the mailbox safely? Where is it located?

  11. Do they have a handrail at the front door?

  12. Are outdoor steps and walkways in good repair or do they present a tripping hazard in all weather?

  13. Do they need a ramp to get in and out? Does the width of the front door accommodate a wheelchair or even a walker?

  14. Are the bathrooms accessible? Do they need to install grab bars to make personal care safe?  Grab bars can be installed by the toilet, sink and in the shower.

  15. Is the door wide enough to come and go safely?

  16. Do they need lever faucets? Do they need a different hot water setting to prevent scalding from overheated water?

  17. Are the floors a non-skid material? Are the floors in good repair with no loose floorboards or peeling linoleum?

 

With more people choosing living at home instead of assisted living or nursing facilities, the home that may have served them well for years could potentially have hazards and hidden dangers that should be addressed. The following checklists will provide a guide to bring some of the most important steps to your attention to make the home a safer place to live.

 

Kitchen Checklist

  • Place items used often within reach and off high shelves

  • Replace cabinet and drawer handles with styles that are easier for older hands to grasp

  • Install anti-scald valves at the sink

 

General Living Area Safety Checklist

  • Remove clutter from passageways to prevent falls

  • Check stairways for safety: treads that are secure, carpeting that is not loose or worn, nails that are protruding, clutter on steps, etc.

  • Reposition furniture in room ensuring it will take the weight if leaned on for support

  • Caution with walking on surfaces such as tile, wet areas, icy walkways, over curbs and painted basement stairs

  • Make sure handrails are installed and secure for all steps, including entryways into the house

  • If laundry appliances are located in a basement, consider an adaptable space be made to accommodate easier access on a main living area

 

Bathroom Checklist

  • Put in non-skid surfaces in bathroom tubs, showers and floors

  • Set water heater to 50 degrees C. (120 degrees F.) or less to help prevent scalding

  • Install anti-scald valves at the tub, shower and sinks

  • Install grab bars in tub and for accessing toilet

  • Replace faucet fixtures with models having lever-type handles that are easier to turn on and off

  • Consider transfer seating equipment for use in bathtubs and stand up showers for bath access

  • Install hand held shower sprayer for assistance in bathing

  • Add a raised toilet seat or replace the toilet with a taller model to make transferring on and off the toilet easier

 

Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit

As a senior 65 years or older in Ontario, you could qualify for a tax credit to help with the cost of making your home safer and more accessible.  Click HERE for more information.