Innovative Smart Home Solutions for Seniors

 

Senior individuals want to enjoy the comforts and easy living of being in their own home, the same as anyone else, but most homes aren't built with the aging population in mind. Whether you're moving a loved one in with you or you're reaching a point where you need a little help from your home, you're not alone.

These are some of the top innovative smart home solutions for seniors and why they might be great for your household!

1. For Your Kitchen

Although the real kitchen battle can feel like it’s a Maytag vs Whirlpool match, there's a lot more at stake in the average kitchen. From the importance of keeping your sink at a good height to ensuring that your counters and cabinets are accessible, it can be expensive to fully remodel this space.

2. In the Bathroom

Bathrooms are one of the riskiest spaces in the entire home. This is where most slips and falls happen, and countless accidental deaths or injuries occur every year. To make your bathroom as accessible for seniors as possible, consider installing some easy grip bars, using flooring that's not too slick, and counters and a toilet that's easy to use and accessible.

You can install a walk-in tub, but it's also a good idea to simply set in or install a shower bench. This will give you somewhere to sit and relax while you wash yourself.

3. Updating the Main Living Space

The main living space won't need as many changes as the rest of the home, but the main focus here should be your layout. Make sure furniture is easy to navigate around and isn't anything with sharp or hard corners that can cause injury. 

4. Making Laundry Possible

Laundry is something everyone needs to do, but it can be incredibly hard on someone with mobility issues. Create a laundry space that has enough room for a bench or other seating, and consider setting your washer and dryer on pedestals that make them easier to reach. 

5. Heat Throughout the Home

Our kitchens need to be comfortable to use, or many will resort to just microwaving freezer meals. One way to add comfort for seniors is to consider heat. A heated countertop offers warmth while still keeping its updated style.

Heating throughout the home is important, especially if you or your loved ones have issues keeping warm, as many people in older populations do. Heated floors, a smart thermostat, and leak-free windows are all good starting points.

6. Examining the Outdoors

The outdoors is a vital part of your home that some completely forget about. Although it may seem obvious, you need to put in the time to make sure any doors are accessible, and if you do have stairs, make them slip-resistant with support bars to hold onto.

If you can install a ramp, this is a great choice! Ensure it's not too steep, though, since the average person can't handle more than 10-degree inclines on a daily basis.

7. Understanding Bedrooms

Bedrooms don't have to be reimagined in order to be accessible, but there's a lot you can do! Having light switches or remote lights near the bed, making sure doorways are large enough for wheelchairs, and simply ensuring that everything is easy to reach is a great start.

This is a good place to consider your windows! Are they easy to open? Can you lift them without struggle? How about the blinds? Take some time to make sure all of the windows in your home are as accessible as possible

8. Garages and Storage

Storage is a must! Over a third of Americans have a storage space outside of their property that they pay monthly rent for. Save yourself the trouble of going to a storage facility by gearing your garage or other storage space to be as useful as possible. 

Although vertical storage can be useful, it's not as accessible as necessary. There are many motored options for vertical storage, which can lower shelving down to you and save you from having to risk an elevator if you're unstable on your feet.

9. Mistakes to Avoid

Although it can feel like anything that's labeled accessible is a good choice, there are countless companies that offer items with that label that might not make life easier. When you're buying, make sure that everything you purchase has a clear purpose and has reviews that can be trusted.

Avoid buying everything without shopping around or looking at used products. Although you shouldn't buy everything used, there are some items that can be awesome when they come pre-loved. Not only does it reduce cost, but it shows it's a product that's functioned well and will continue to do so. Don't spend more than you can afford to.

Smart Features Are for Everyone

Smart features have a place in any home that wants to step into the future. Not only do these tools offer ease of use, but they also improve quality of life!

Sam Willis is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise in residential and commercial real estate, as well as engineering and construction. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching real estate trends in his free time. Sam’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.

 

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