Retirement comes with some perks, including that you will be able to spend more time in your home. Perhaps you will want to do some remodeling, even set up a home office, or get a new entertainment system.
You will not only want to make your home more comfortable but you may want to add some safety features as well. With retirement, we also must face the fact that we’re aging, and with that comes risks and hazards we may not have faced before.
Here are some tips for making your retirement home safer and more comfortable.
While home alarms used to be fairly simple, they are now far more sophisticated and can integrate with smart devices that are voice activated, your watch, your phone, and more.
Not only will your alarm protect your home and call police in the case of an emergency, but they can be set up to respond to voice commands, call both authorities, first responders, and alert family by text message or automated phone call should you have an issue. On top of that, you can install cameras you can view from your smartphone or tablet anywhere you have access to the internet.
From smoke alarms and carbon dioxide alerts to fall monitors, nearly every emergency you can imagine can be dealt with through a smart and integrated alarm system. The first thing you will want to do with your retirement home is to get alarmed.
Another thing that will happen when you spend more time in your home is you will have to clean more. The more time you spend there, the dirtier your home will get. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, you will not have to do all of that cleaning yourself.
Automated vacuums that operate at night, new kitchen materials that resist stains, fingerprints and dirt, and even self-cleaning window glass mean you don’t have to clean as much on your own. You will still need to do some cleaning though, and there are some amazing health benefits.
- Burns Calories: Cleaning house is, believe it or not, great exercise
- Lowers Stress Levels: A clean house is less stressful to live in
- Improves Concentration: It is easier to focus in rooms without clutter
- Reduces Allergies: Allergies are caused by dust and small particles. Cleaning reduces these.
In addition, reducing clutter is generally better for you and costs less. It costs an average of $10 a square foot to store things in your home, and one in four people with a two-car garage can’t even fit one car inside. Reducing the amount of “stuff” you have around will save you money and stress as well.
One of the greatest risks of retirement living is falls. As we age, our balance is not as good, and we tend to fall more. The risk of falling is that the older we are, the longer it takes to heal. A broken wrist can take up to 12 weeks to heal even if you don’t need surgery. Compare that to 4 weeks in a young child.
This is why traction is important. If you have hardwood or laminate floors, you might want to use runners and area rugs to provide yourself with traction. Go for good fabrics and high-quality rugs, and make sure you get the right size for the area you are trying to cover. The better the material in the rug, the better it will look and wear. It will also lay better, preventing tripping hazards.
Add stair runners that are grippy to stairs and landings, and make sure stair rails are in good condition. In the winter, either clear your sidewalks and walking areas or have them cleared and de-iced on a regular basis. Make sure grandkids pick up toys and other items they might leave on the floor.
Add grip to your tub and shower, and even install grab handles if you do not need them. In the case of a slip, you may be able to prevent a fall and much more serious industry.
You don’t want your retirement time to be ruined by a fall, so be careful and get traction everywhere you can.
Get Up and Down
Getting up and down off the floor becomes more difficult over time, but even getting up and down from chairs and sofas can be difficult and doing so safely and comfortably is of utmost importance. Fortunately there is technology and other things that can help. Here are some tips and tricks.
- Do Yoga and other Exercise to keep your core strong. Your core is essential to getting up and down.
- Use help if you need it. Even if you don’t normally use a cane for walking, having one handy for getting out of your favorite chair can prevent a tragic fall.
- Get assistive chairs. There are all kinds out there, from ones that simply raise a little bit to make it easier for you to stand to ones that angle and help you move to a standing position.
The same is true for getting down. Don’t just fall into your seat. Use your core to lower yourself as best you can and use assistive devices when you need to. Don’t risk injury or falling for the sake of a little pride.
Getting up and down can be a real challenge as you age. Set up your retirement home with the things you need to help.
Hear About it All
As much as we hate to admit it, as we grow older one of the first things to go is our hearing. However, we don’t have to sit around with the TV volume all the way up or with the ringers and volume of our phones exceptionally loud. There are devices that can make this much easier for us.
Through Bluetooth technology, you can connect your phone to hearing aids and control the volume and background noise. Even if you are not ready for hearing aids yet, you can use Bluetooth headphones and other assistive devices to connect to your phone, your TV, your and even your car stereo.
You will be much more comfortable and safer if you can hear what is around you, and hearing assistive devices are now smaller and less obtrusive than they ever have been.
You can be both safe and comfortable in your retirement home with the use of technology and the right devices. Since you’ll be spending more time there, you’ll want that feeling of safety and comfort.