You might have already prepared your finances for your golden years, but have you thought about future-proofing your home? Once people are empty nesters, many feel like they have to downsize their home since it's too big or won't work well once they get older. But taking the time now to prepare your house will help you stay independent as long as you can.Consider Installing a Home Elevator
One reason that many people can't stay in their homes is that important rooms are on different levels and their health conditions mean they can no longer safely use the stairs. For example, your bedroom may be on the top floor with your living area on the main level and your laundry room in the basement. That's why you might want to install an elevator. They don't have to be expensive - practical residential elevators can more than meet your needs. This can be a better solution than stairlifts, which can be challenging for those in wheelchairs.Make Your Space Safer
When you're healthy, you might not think much about leaving furniture or your work from home obstacles around your home. And putting things away on upper shelves may be second nature to you. But now is the time to make sure that your home will be safe once you're older. Go through it with the eyes of an elderly person. You might need to remove certain doors, adjust lighting, or install ramps. Make sure areas like the bedrooms and bathrooms are accessible. Consider installing a home monitoring system in case there's an emergency.Make the Entryways Safer
Many times, the path into a house has uneven surfaces and cracked sidewalks, making it dangerous for those who have balance issues. Now is the time to repave the surfaces to make it easier to get around. This also increases your curb appeal. It's a good idea to add outdoor non-slip strips to improve footing. Indoors, consider adding non-slip flooring. Having an elevator is a great idea, but you'll also want to add a second railing to the other side of each set of stairs. Make sure that the railings are at least an inch and a half in diameter.
Another way of making your stairs safer is by adding contrast strips on the first and last steps. Add some color contrast between the risers and treads on each step. Accidents are more likely when you are multitasking, so create an area for your packages outside and inside the home. That way, it'll be easy to keep your hands free and stay balanced when you're coming and going. It's a good idea to have a covered entryway, such as a garage or a covered porch, to protect yourself from the elements.Install Better Lighting
If you can't see where you're going, you're more likely to trip, especially when your eyesight isn't what it used to be. If you don't have sufficient overhead lights, consider adding bright lamps in dark areas such as entryways and stairs. Make sure that you replace burned out bulbs as soon as possible.
T his article has been published in accordance with opednews.com's disclosure policy'.