Four easy ways to enhance your home

More seniors are preferring to 'age in place' in their own home according to a 2015 report by the government Productivity Commission
More seniors are preferring to 'age in place' in their own home according to a 2015 report by the government Productivity Commission

This article was sponsored by Acorn Stairlifts

As you move through the stages of your life, your needs can change. But that doesn’t mean your address needs to change too.

More seniors are staying in their home longer, with a recent report by the government Productivity Commission showing over 60 per cent of older Australians would strongly prefer to ‘age in place’ by staying in their own homes. 

There are simple ways that you can enhance your existing home to create a safe and accessible environment for you as you head into your golden years. Consider making some of these small changes to each of the areas of your home to make your space more user-friendly and liveable.  

1. Bedroom

Invest in touch control lamps or "clapper" devices for your lighting needs in the bedroom to reduce the amount of movement required once you are at rest in bed. 

Keep a phone nearby to give you more peace of mind while resting

Keep a phone nearby to give you more peace of mind while resting

Consider placing a phone in the bedroom so you can easily access help if you need to, without needing to worry about where your mobile phone is. 

Adding lighting in your closet space in your bedroom is a great way to avoid any falling hazards from above when accessing your storage area.  

Rather than being bound to the bottom floor guest bedroom, consider installing a stairlift to give you easy access to the master bedroom on the second floor. 

2. Bathroom

Consider utilising grab bars in the bathroom — they can easily be disguised as towel racks but can also be a sturdy, supportive aid for a typically slippery surface. 

They're useful in times of need but easy to disguise as towel racks

They're useful in times of need but easy to disguise as towel racks

Installing a built-in seat inside the shower can convert your shower from a safety hazard to a spa. Ensure you secure the seat to the ground to avoid a slipping risk when you sit down. ​

Adding a handheld showerhead that you can easily control the flow of is a great way to enjoy your showering experience. 

A shower stool can provide relief from lengthy standing periods while showering

A shower stool can provide relief from lengthy standing periods while showering

3. Entrance

Installing a stairlift into your staircase is an affordable way to enhance the accessibility of your staircase. Stairlifts can be fitted to either curved or straight staircases and require minimal installation, often within a matter of days if you choose a provider like Acorn Stairlifts

Installing a stairlift is a surprisingly affordable way to give you the freedom to move within the levels of your home

Installing a stairlift is a surprisingly affordable way to give you the freedom to move within the levels of your home

Ensure your lighting provides you with plenty of easy visibility with minimum effort throughout your entrance, pathways and porch, including installing motion-sensor flood lights that will automatically turn on when they detect movement.

Consider replacing round door handles with easier-to-use lever-style door handles to allow you to move between areas with ease. 

Ensure your runners and rugs are secured to the ground with adhesive to reduce the risk of slipping. 

4. Kitchen

Consider installing pull-out or pull-down shelves that move to meet you to reduce the risk of falling objects in your kitchen pantry. Drawers that close automatically can also enhance your time in the kitchen by reducing your exertion when cooking. 

Slide out shelves and drawers can enhance the usability of your kitchen

Slide out shelves and drawers can enhance the usability of your kitchen

You could also look at having your dishwasher elevated slightly, to reduce the amount of bending you need to do to stack or unstack it. 

Consider sitting rather than standing when working at your kitchen countertop by ensuring your countertops are a range of heights, or alternatively, prepare your food while seated and relaxed at the dining table. 

Easy modifications such as these can enhance your experience in your home and ensure you feel safe and happy as you enjoy your twilight years.

If you would like to investigate further, an occupational therapist (OT) or certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS) can visit your home, assess your needs and recommend helpful home modifications. Or, you can read more about staying in your home for longer here.

This article was sponsored by Acorn Stairlifts