February’s theme is love, and sometimes we need to be reminded to love ourselves! It is wise to create a safe home environment. As we age, our visual acuity, strength, coordination and reflex abilities diminish. We will not be able to as quickly react to breaking a fall, nor will we recover from injury as well as when we were younger. It is important to remove hazards and be strategic about preventing accidents.
There is higher risk of injuries in the bathroom. The bathroom is a room of hard surfaces that when wet can become slippery, and a fall could cause serious injury. There are few, if any, soft places to land in a bathroom!
Install radiant floor heating under textured vinyl tile. Vinyl tile is a softer material to land on, and easy to clean. A warm floor will eliminate the need for mats which are trip hazards
Install a comfort height toilet with grab bars to aid in transition.
Have a no threshold walk in shower, with appropriate height niches, a shower bench, grab bars and a hand held shower option.
Include a Tornado Body Dryer for ease of drying off after a shower. It helps keep one warm and removes excess moisture out of air.
Use a lit slide dimmer switch to help one find it in the dark.
Choose lever handles for faucets and doors for ease of operation.
Specify countertop corners be round to eliminate sharp edges.
In the kitchen you want to minimize the risk of a cook seriously cutting or burning themselves. (The last three tips for the bathroom are good for a kitchen too)!
Supply ample task lighting for food preparation, cooking and clean up.
Install an induction cooktop with easily reached control knobs. It will automatically shut down if no pan is present and it only heats the pan, so is cooler to the touch
Have wall ovens with side hinge door with a nearby landing space for easy removal and placement of hot items.
More people will want and need Aging in Place Design elements in the home to improve safety and facilitate independent living. Contact a local Certified Aging in Place Specialist or hire a remodeling company that has professionals certified in Universal Design to help one live in a safer home as much as possible.
Happy home remodeling!
Janet B. Cook, CAPS, President of Cook Remodeling who is celebrating its 36th year, blogs (with photos!) on cookremodeling.com. Visit their Pinterest and Houzz page for remodeling ideas.