Housing upgrades to benefit seniors differ slightly from those meant for their younger counterparts. This is because of various reasons. For instance, a senior citizen no longer lives with his or her growing children may not need as many rooms as when they were bringing up their children. Another factor is that senior citizens don’t necessarily need additional rooms past the first floor as accessing upstairs rooms might prove too much of an uphill task. We’ve prepared a list of housing upgrades to benefit seniors that takes that into consideration.
Look into Downsizing
This seems to be quite the opposite of what we are recommending here, housing upgrades to benefit seniors. However, downsizing can also be regarded as an upgrade if it provides more benefits than staying put. Most seniors live in the houses that they brought up their children in throughout their lifetime. The rooms that were used by their children eventually get converted to storage rooms, empty halls, or worse, become inaccessible by seniors, especially if there were not located on the first floor.
To avoid such a scenario, and also the financial burdens that come along with a big house (mortgage and rent) consider downsizing into a smaller house. The new house should ideally only have the first floor with no inaccessible floors above. It should also just have enough rooms to accommodate you and the occasional visitor that may pay you a visit. The visitor can be caregiver, your children, grandchildren or your old friends. You don’t need different rooms for each of them, one will sufficiently serve their needs as they will not be regular visitors.
To make this upgrade, you’ll need to get as much information as you can on how to buy a second home. The knowledge will save you from making common mistakes that most seniors do when making a home purchase. For instance, you’ll get to know the depreciation rate of the house you intend to buy, the additional perks you can get when you pay instantly compared to when you buy the house in installments and also the adjustments that the home sellers are able to make to the house to accommodate your age or health condition.
Find Ways to Increase to Energy Efficiency
Another housing upgrades to benefit seniors point that you might overlook is energy efficiency in your home. A majority of people from all age brackets waste a lot of energy because they do not think their energy consumption through, and make deliberate plans to use it efficiently. The most common types of energy in a home are gas and electricity. These need to be conserved to ensure that the bills do not skyrocket to an unimaginable degree.
For instance, to preserve electrical energy, you’ll need to adopt small and big measures alike to ensure you are using it efficiently. The first basic steps towards this would be to make use of flasks to store your heated water. This step, though basic will save the energy that you’ll use from repeatedly heating water for basic uses like making a cup of tea or coffee. Another minor measure with a huge impact is making good use of natural lighting, so that you do not have to compensate with electricity, especially during the day. Another tip on the same is to always switch off appliances that are not in use. For instance, ac services when the temperatures are at optimum performance.
If you are the type that’s not too keen on applying the measures mentioned above and would prefer an option that has no recurring costs, consider going for an energy option that has lesser recurrent costs, like solar or wind energy. These options are good because once you incur the initial set-up and materials costs, then you will only deal with occasional maintenance costs afterward. To see the options that are available to you, inquire from local solar and wind energy providers near you.
Having energy saving options like solar or wind energy will be greatly impactful because then you can even power up your doors and windows smartly without feeling a pinch on your pockets, because they’ll incur zero power bills. To do this, seek out the services of professional window and door installation contractors. They’ll know how to convert the solar generated direct current to alternative current that’ll run the smart solutions, when the need arises in the future.
Have Your Basement Appliances Repaired
On the same breath of housing upgrades to benefit seniors, energy efficiency category, have all your faulty appliances repaired, especially the ones you have at the basement. It’s going to be very counterproductive to have taken all the necessary measures to use your energy efficiently, even going as far as reverting to alternative and renewable sources of energy like solar, only to have them wasted on appliances that are not working at optimum. So, consider having all appliances not only repaired, but also replaced if need be.
For instance, if your water heater has been failing at heating the water efficiently, you shouldn’t even think of appliance repairs on such a crucial item. You should, instead, engage the services of qualified people for replacement water heater solutions. This is because, as a senior, you should prioritize your health at all times, and anything that has the potential to compromise your wellbeing should be fixed or done away with. Showering with cold water has the potential of making you sick and sending you to the hospital without notice. Avoid such a tragedy at all costs.
Make Your Outdoors Presentable
As a senior, you’ll mostly need the freshest air and environment to thrive. This is why beautifying your outdoors makes it to our list of housing upgrades to benefit seniors. Presentable outdoors will improve your mood and greatly improve your wellbeing. To do this, take measures like planting fresh flowers on your backyard, improve your outdoor lighting or even spruce up your old fence. Yes, that beloved fence that has served you for years might also need some new appeal.
To spruce up your existing fence, you can go for the option of either giving it a fresh coat of paint or taking it down (if the wooden posts have withered over the years). Both instances should be done by professions. This is to ensure that their expertise gives you a finished product that’ll light up your outdoors in such a way that they’ll unwittingly lure you to spend most of your time there when it’s perfect weather season.
If you go for the option of having your fence taken down and getting it replaced with a new one, make sure you engage the services of wood fence companies that not only have a solid track record but also ones that are familiar with your locality. This is crucial because there are areas that are more prone to wood loving pests like termites compared to others. A local wood fence expert will most likely have this information, and know the measures to take to ensure that your fence is protected from them. This will be through application of proper anti-termite treatments on the wood before being erected on the ground.
Keep Your Plumbing Efficient
No person ever wants to endure the nightmare of inefficient and faulty plumbing. Be it a senior or his younger counterparts. Even diaper wearing toddlers have a hard time enduring soiled diapers, which is why they often cry until they are changed. This is why it shouldn’t miss in this list of housing upgrades to benefit seniors. To start with, have a plumbing services contractor come and assess all your plumbing and sewer fittings. He should start with checking that all drains in the kitchen and the bathrooms are all draining water efficiently.
If they see an issue, then they should do a thorough drain cleaning procedure to unclog all drains. There are instances, however, where the drains are not working properly because of issues that can not be solved by unclogging them. For instance, you may have put metallic drains that have accumulated rust over time. These should be removed and replaced with ones that are more durable, preferably ones made using PVC or UPVC.
Find Ways to Use Less Electricity
As stated earlier, seniors should strive to use less electricity whenever possible. For this, they first need to understand their usual electricity consumption habits, so that they can then make an informed plan on how to best regulate their usage. To understand and know your electrical consumption behavior. You should first ask for an electricity consumption statement from the electrician companies in your area. They should then advise you on the best ways to lessen the electrical usage.
You should also adopt basic measures that will not need an electricians input to understand or to implement. For instance, switching off of home appliances like the tv when not in use will save you a decent amount of money. Another small measure that will have a big impact is ensuring that you do not leave your fridge open for long periods of time. Another small adjustment that’ll greatly reduce electricity’s consumption will be to not let your hot water showers last longer than necessary. The cumulative effect of all these measures will be a more manageable electrical bill.
Keep Your Septic System Clean
This particular tip of housing upgrades to benefit seniors goes hand in hand with what we had mentioned earlier about keeping your plumbing efficient. No senior person should deal with a defective septic system. Which is why all septic systems need to have regular maintenance. If you haven’t been doing this over the years, then you should contact different septic tank maintenance contractors to come and check your septic tank. The maintenance should include septic pumping , emptying and the subsequent carting away of the waste from the home.
This exercise, however, should be done on a day when you and the members of your household are not around the house. This is so that they do not have to go through the smelly exercise that is septic tank cleaning. It would be a good idea to use this day to shop around for the items mentioned here that’ll contribute to housing upgrades to benefit seniors instead. Or better yet spend the time scouting for local experts in the various items that we’ve listed here.
Have your house insulated against extreme Weather Conditions.
To reiterate what we had stressed earlier, a senior’s health is very fragile and needs to be treated as such. For this reason, housing upgrades to benefit seniors should always be geared towards preventative measures more than curative ones. This is the reason why your house as a senior should not take chances when it comes to insulation. It should be insulated against extreme weather conditions like lots of heat or lots of cold. This will entirely depend on the weather of the day or the place where you live.
There are very many different types of insulation materials in the market today. The most common ones are spray foam, polystyrene, mineral wool, foam and glass wool. The differences come in the form of the materials used and their respective thicknesses. To get the right fit for you, consult with insulation fitters in your location, or do a quick Google search. You’ll then be better placed to know what will work for you and your budget. Whatever option you pick though, ensure that it’s fibers aren’t flaky, as the particles can find their way into the air you breathe. This may end up posing serious health risks. Beating the whole purpose entirely.
The above housing upgrades to benefit seniors list will make a significant impact on you as a senior. Once you have implemented the ones that fit your situation, they’ll also ensure that your golden years are spent doing what matters most to you, be it spending time with your loved ones, enjoying your hobbies or checking off items on your bucket list. Whatever makes you fulfilled. You have toiled for the better part of your life you might as well enjoy the turn down.