As we get older and our kids start lives of their own I think it is common that we begin to think about the aging process and how it is going to affect our lives. In thinking about aging I know it is my goal to live in my home with my husband as long as we possibly can. I have no interest in becoming a burden to my children but realize that I like the idea of staying in a place I know as home with my belongings surrounding me. I also realize when planning to age in place that certain criteria needs to be met in order to keep up with the changing needs that we will be met with.
For instance, my husband has completed five major knee surgeries. The next step for him will be knee replacements. In our home we have very minimal steps up but do have one that connects the living room to the kitchen area. When looking at our aging in place needs I see this hurdle will need to be converted. I am not sure how we will accomplish this but can see that either more steps with smaller inclines or a ramp will need to be installed to ease the transition for him.
As most people age they have different needs that need to be met. Obviously we don’t know what those needs will be until we are in the thick of it. There are things though that are universal and should be looked at as your children leave the nest. When you are remodeling you can jump start the aging in place process with simple, discreet solutions to getting older. One thing my husband I have done is removed the carpet from our home. Not only are hardwood floors beautiful but they are also friendly for walkers and wheelchairs if the need should arise.
Another thing we do as we remodel the rooms in our home is look to make sure that door handles are replaced with levered handles. I know that when we remodel the bathroom my husband has requested a shower that has a removable shower head along with a barrier free entrance and built in seat. The designs that we have seen are beautiful and really turn the bathroom into a spa. This along with the higher toilet and levered faucets should allow us to ease into our golden years in this space.
We have discussed the obstacles with our children of routine items such as yard maintenance and snow removal. We will keep up on this ourselves as long as possible and then will look into service companies to maintain it when we can’t or don’t want to any longer. The last thing we want to do though is be a burden anymore than we already will have to be to our adult children. Aging in place often leads to placing a bigger burden on family and that is not our hopes.
If we need care on a daily basis and can no longer function with grab bars and other home modifications we will need to look into either an assisted living facility or at home care that lives with us or comes in regularly to assist us with our needs. We would like to live in our home as long as possible and with that in mind plan on reviewing each room with aging in place remodeling in mind.