Have you thought about what the future holds for you in your home?
Will you be able to live their comfortably and get around independently and safely, no matter what happens as you get older?
If your home has certain design features within its walls, you have a higher chance of being able to stay put as you age.
Future-proofing your home is to make sure you include the following elements in the design of your home which will enable you to deal with whatever life may throw at you.
What does it take to Future Proof your Home?
#1) A stepless entry
- It will have a low threshold and a solid surface pathway from the parking or the street.
- Equip the door with a lever handle and make sure the opening is 36in/91cm wide.
- You need at least 1 door leading to the main level your house. This will preferably be the front door so you can also welcome other visitors in wheelchairs without having to send them around the back. Being able to get outside to the yard with your grand-children is a must, so really pay attention to this access.
#2) Wide doorways and hallways
- Some doorways are so narrow a wheelchair can’t even pass through them. This could make your home impossible for you to live in, in the future.
- All interior doorways should be minimum 32in/81cm.
- Hallways should be at least 36in/91cm wide so you can maneuver comfortably in them.
#3) Wheelchair accessible bathroom on the main level
- This needs to be a full bathroom with shower and/or bath with maneuvering circle if it’s going to be your only option for the future.
- Take a look at this post to find out what an accessible bathroom is all about.
#4) Bedroom on the main level
- This is imperative if you are unable to use the stairs as you don’t want to be sleeping in the living room.
- You can be using this room in the meantime as a library or tv room, as long as it is easily converted when you need it.
- Read more about an accessible master bedroom retreat.
- Find out what other room you can carve a bedroom from.
#5) An accessible kitchen
- Pull-out drawers or shelves are convenient and more comfortable for everybody.
- A work surface that you can sit down at or roll under with a wheelchair.
- Space for a wheelchair to maneuver safely in the work triangle.
- The level of accessibility will vary depending on the requirements of the cook.
- Read more about how to use universal design in your kitchen.
These above 5 tips are the building blocks of your accessible home. They are the basis of what everything else is built upon. After these are in place, you will only need to make smaller changes and additions to your home to make it completely accessible.
By implementing these things in your building or renovating plans now you are ensuring yourself a home where you can stay in for as long as you wish, and not being forced to move because you or a family member can’t simply get through the bathroom door.
What would it take for you to future-proof your home? Do you have any or all of the building blocks already there?