• Fri. May 24th, 2024

Future-proofing your home to maintain lifelong independence

home to maintain lifelong independence

Maintaining independence late in life is essential for a healthy and active old age. The more you can continue to be proactive in your own home, continue carrying out your day to day chores, to longer you can extend your life span, often for many years to come. In fact, studies demonstrated how having a negative attitude toward getting older can reduce your life span by over seven years. So take note, change your mindset and embrace getting older.

It is the mind that will keep you young, in which case there are plenty of changes you can make to your physical surroundings to help you maintain mobility and continue toe enjoy independence in your own home. Even if you are still relatively fit and mobile, it is never too early to start planning for home furniture items for when you get older. You need to prioritize comfort, accessibility, and safety. 

Here’s our guide to some must-have furniture items.

Adjustable Beds

These beds allow you to adjust the height and angle of the mattress, making it easier to get in and out of bed and find a comfortable sleeping position. The benefits of an adjustable bed can help you at any age – they help to reduce back pain, improve circulation, and can even help reduce snoring. Aesthetically they stand up against any normal bed. So if you’re thinking about changing your bed sooner rather than later, choosing an adjustable bed will ensure that its use can evolve as you grow older.

Lift Chairs

Lift chairs are also known as rise and recline armchairs.  They are fitted with a powered lifting mechanism that gently lifts the base of the chair, helping you to stand up with ease. They are particularly useful for individuals with mobility issues or those who struggle to get up from seated positions.

Many are fitted with good lumbar support to provide relief for back pain and promote better posture.

Shower Benches

Recognising those times when you are probably at your most vulnerable is important when planning structural changes to your home. Getting in and out of the bath or shower is one of those times, when floors are slippery and there is nothing to grab onto. Removing a traditional bath and replacing it with a shower with an integral bench or chair will allow you to sit while showering, reducing the risk of slips and falls in the bathroom.

Make sure that you also fit grab rails in those areas where potential slipping is most prevalent. These grab rails or bars provide support and stability when moving around.

Create a smart home environment

You don’t need to be getting old to enjoy a remote controlled home. Indeed, automating many of the aspects of your day to day life is becoming the norm as smart home technology becomes increasingly accessible to everyone. From motorised blinds or curtains, to locking and unlocking doors and windows, to switching appliances on and off, the control by remote or smartphone apps eliminates the need for manual operation, making it easier to adjust your home’s environment without having to reach or exert too much effort.

Non-Slip Rugs and Mats

It doesn’t matter whether you are eight or eighty, it Is important to ensure your home is slip free. The difference is that when you slip at eight, you recover pretty quickly. However, when you slip at eighty, you are more likely to break a bone that takes much longer to heal. These are the incidents that can lead a relatively fit and healthy older person down a much faster aging route.

Use non-slip rugs and mats to prevent slips and falls on smooth flooring surfaces, especially in high-traffic areas like hallways and kitchens. Wear shoes or slippers that have a non-slip sole, and be aware of potential obstacles that could be a trip hazard. 

These changes form the foundation of a safer, more comfortable living environment as you age. Additionally, consider consulting with a professional or occupational therapist for personalized recommendations based on your specific needs and requirements.