Your home doesn’t have to stay the same. Why not consider some changes that will enhance your life, especially if you or a loved one has less mobility because of age or disease? You can live in a beautiful, safe space if you make some intentional changes.
If someone has lived in a home for decades, it is entirely possible that decluttering would make a tremendous impact on their ability to use their living space better. Perhaps there are too many pieces of furniture in the home, or the furnishings are so big and bulky they can’t be easily moved by the homeowner for vacuuming and general upkeep. Donating these or giving them to young adults in the family who need furnishings for a new apartment makes a lot of sense.
TIP: Less stuff means your home will seem larger and cleaner.
Designed for Real Life
Summer Crawford, owner of Summer Crawford Design in Borden, Indiana, helped a client’s parents design their space when they moved into a patio home. “His father used a walker and preferred to eat his meals in his recliner with a TV tray, so we helped find some new trays for him and his wife to use,” she says. “But they also wanted other seating for dining options. We were able to put a small dining table off to the side of the home out of their main everyday traffic. I thought this was a great solution to what worked for their day-to-day living while also having the option to host people.”
TIP: Consider seating that has arms to help get up and down and does not rock or spin for those with less mobility.
Sometimes more substantial (and therefore more expensive) changes can make a home a place you can really stay in regardless of your situation, which will require the expertise of a contractor or architect. You can also consult an aging-in-place expert.
- Turn a room on the first floor into a bedroom.
- Make space to add a small washer/dryer unit to avoid going up and down stairs.
- Install a curbless shower.
- Add a screened-in porch to allow the ability to get more outside time. (Bonus idea: Add in a garden box to standing or seated level to enjoy a gardening hobby.)
- Replace carpet with hardwood or vinyl plank flooring to create a smooth, easy-to-clean surface.
By Carrie Vittitoe | Photo by Kim Idris
P.S. If you missed it, check out part one in this article series.