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5 Renovation & Remodeling Tips for Aging in Place
Foxglove Design-Bathroom Renovation for Elderly in Barrie

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Aging is a natural part of life, and the trend towards maintaining one’s independence and familiarity for as long as possible is growing exponentially. A renovation solution to Aging in Place refers to the concept of boomers desiring to live in their own home independently, for as long as possible. They want to be surrounded by their possessions, and remain in the community in which connections were built. The best way to ensure this is by thinking ahead and beginning to plan the renovation and design process well in advance.
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There are many benefits to Aging in Place, but the challenge of staying in your beloved home is ensuring that it’s designed in a way that supports the changes that come with aging. Consider these five factors when planning to renovate your home so you can enjoy autonomy well into your golden years.

1. Appliance and Kitchen Tips for Aging in Place

Maintaining routines like cooking for yourself can help with independence and fulfillment, but ensuring your appliances are stored in safe easy to access areas (i.e. not up high where reaching for it could lead to a fall), or have automatic safety features (hello automatic kettle shut off!), are things to consider both when doing an initial renovation before these features are needed, or in the event of a later in life reno. If you’re thinking about the long term aspect of your kitchen, you could even consider lowering the counter height!

Michelle’s Tip: Lower the height of kitchen upper cabinets for easy access.

2. Aging in Place: Planning Ahead

When doing a renovation, think about the long-term plan for staying in your home. Though no one in the family may be ready for safety grab bars in the bathroom, having the supports built into the framing with records in your floor plans of where they are, will make the addition of that future necessity far easier.

Michelle’s Tip: Make sure your supports can sustain up to 200lbs.

3. Wheelchair and Accessibility Advice for Aging in Place

Most people think of wheelchair access as additional ramps to get into your home, but there is more that can be done when planning ahead. Wider doorways in all common areas, particularly kitchens and living rooms are essential. Smooth flooring surfaces are also a consideration. Avoid raised or harsh transitions between flooring types, and low pile carpet can all help with future mobility needs while still creating a beautiful space.

Michelle’s Tip: We suggest 36 inch wide doorways to help with traffic flow and mobility access (e.g., for wheelchairs and scooters).

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4. Aging in Place Washroom Renovation Tips

Washrooms in your home are one of the most vital places to plan ahead for Aging in Place. Curbless showers mean wheelchairs and walkers can easily move in and out. Larger tiles are needed and larger drains in specific spots. Requesting a lowered vanity is essential with space underneath to sit by your sink. Having 5 feet of clearance space between fixtures will help with mobility device access as well!

A larger washroom can be luxurious and doesn’t have to feel dowdy with all the right touches. Consider creature comforts that are special for all generations, like heated floors or why not even a heated toilet seat or bidet?

Michelle’s Tip: Select a vanity height of 30 inches, also referred to as “desk height.” This is ideal for wheelchair access and independent living.

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5. Lighting your Home to Age in Place

Should your mobility and eyesight deteriorate with age, consider investing in a smart lighting system for your home. They can be pre-programmed to turn on or off at certain times of day, and allow motion sensor detection so your hallways and stairwells light up as you pass through.

Michelle’s Tip: Smart home lighting can also help reduce your electrical bill, and help the environment.

Aging in place can mean maintaining an independent and purposeful life. By thinking ahead and implementing practical solutions before they become a necessity, you can create an environment that supports comfort and well-being as you reach your senior years.

As we work towards creating age-friendly communities, the concept of aging in place has become a celebration of a life well-lived, surrounded by the warmth of home and community. At Foxglove Design, we can help prepare you with a home design plan and project manage a renovation or build that helps save you valuable time, money, and avoid costly mistakes.

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