Update Your Home for Your Next Stage of Life

When considering how to update your home for your next stage of life, it doesn’t have to be about a medical disability that needs immediate attention. Modern home remodeling for future safety and comfort also doesn’t have to scream, “Senior citizen here!”

Instead, like most important life events, these updates to your living space now are about planning ahead. Working with a certified living in place design specialist can help you realize the modern home of your dreams while keeping safety and accessibility for the future in mind. 

Perhaps you’ve already noticed a few normal age-related ails. Maybe your joints complain after a day in the garden beds when the weather changes. Take that as a sign of the times. And start thinking about adapting your old house with modern solutions while you can. 

Doing it now will keep you happier and healthier longer. Even medical professionals and university professors think so!

The Secret to Good Health and Longevity? Adaptability.

According to specialists, one primary key to good health and longevity is one’s adaptability. Perhaps some of their thoughts ring true with you, too.

While the majority of older adults deal with one or two chronic illnesses, minor physical impairments or other conditions, “For many, good health means more than lack of illness or disability.”

 

Our Perspective Shifts with Time

Our perspective seems to shift as we grow older (and wiser), says a University of Pennsylvania sociology professor who studies self-rated health. Self-rated health is how we view our own health and includes the tendencies we have to adjust how we see ourselves as we age. 

The professor says that, as a result, seniors “aren’t thrown off course in the same way” that younger people are when minor, normal ailments occur.

We Adapt to Illness and Physical Change

Instead, healthy older adults with a positive mindset about living a long and healthy life simply adapt to illness and physical change. So take a “modern look” around your current, more traditional home. Think about how to update decor in order to make your life easier now…and for a new life later.  

When remodeling or modernizing try not to get overwhelmed thinking it needs to be the entire home. Maybe it’s time to shift the guest rooms upstairs to allow yourself the option of complete first-floor living? Or updating your living space’s lighting solutions and modernizing your bathrooms could be your first steps. 

How to Update Your Home with Technology That Makes Living Easy and Beautiful

You’ve watched modern technology boom over the last few decades. You’ve probably made a few upgrades (possibly even some major renovations) over the years yourself.

Technology has come a long way, hasn’t it? Energy-efficient appliances. Better home protection. More advanced home entertainment. Communication devices. Even the latest safety features on your auto.

So, as a homeowner, why wouldn’t you use modern improvements to adapt your old house to make your new day-to-day more convenient? 

Here are a few of the sleekest and trendiest technology upgrades used in remodeling to make yours a modern home today. They will make living space your beautiful and your life a breeze.

Interior Motion-Sensor Lighting

You are probably familiar with the outdoor version of this. The giant bulbs with motion-detectors that come on when someone (or something) walks by outside? But were you aware there are a number of aesthetic interior motion-sensor smart lighting options as well? 

Custom Permanent Light Fixtures with motion-sensing capabilities can replace hall and room sconces. Furnishing the right dimmer switch and light bulbs with preferred wattage can set the perfect ambiance. You can also have the bulbs auto-set to turn on when you enter a room.

Automated Bathroom Fixtures

Right now, minor and major renovations may seem nothing more than a matter of convenience. But later it often becomes something more. 

Many people gradually develop joint pain and stiffness associated with conditions like arthritis and Fibromyalgia. This can make gripping, turning, and flipping switches and fixtures difficult.

Others wind up needing to utilize a walking aid like a stand-up walker or wheelchair. And this can leave those handles and switches just out of reach.

Adjusting your drawer and cabinet pulls and knobs to a slightly lower height is a standard (and helpful fix). But having motion sensors for bathroom sinks, toilets, and lighting installed can mean the difference in maintaining your privacy down the line.

We feel all of these updates add a modern touch now with a utilitarian purpose later. These are only some of the most common technology upgrades we see when our clients are designing while thinking about how to update their home for their next stage of life. 

But what about actual on-trend modern design renovations that can also accommodate the adaptations you may need later in life?

Here are some ideas for living in place.

Trade That Tub for a Walk-in Shower

Every modern design trend ‘top ten’ over the last few years has included a shift to modern master bathroom showers. This means your material options are endless. 

An aging-in-place specialist might suggest a zero-entry shower. This means no threshold on the floor. When designed well, this sleek, modern look is stunning, and it can really open up the space in your bathroom. You may also want to add an attractive handrail to avoid additional updates down the line. 

Trading your tub for a walk-in shower is attractive and trendy. And it’s also a safer option over the long-term. 

Open Up Your Floor Plan

The formal living room has all but disappeared as knocking down walls for endless sightlines has been on-trend for a while now. Falling in line with this modern style, consider widening walkways, the front door, and other entries and hallways for yourself. 

An open floor plan makes it easier to accommodate family gatherings now. And incorporating an open floor plan design will also be great if you decide to invite a relative to stay down the line. Worst-case scenario, an open floor plan allows the space for both you and an assistant to move around will make any needed injury recovery that much easier. 

Once you open up your walkways and workspace, and you lengthen those sightlines, it would be a shame to make the mistake of cluttering your new modern home unnecessarily!

Streamline Your Interior Design

One major renovation we often recommend next is choosing a space in your home to add new cabinetry for expanded storage. Keeping knick-knack decor to a minimum and storing (or hanging up) much of what’s left out will leave your surfaces clean and clutter-free, which is key to minimizing accidents.

Another interior design trend that sits well with home adaptations necessary to living in place is the resurgence of midcentury modern style.

  • Narrow, clean-lined sofas and chairs keep walkways wide.
  • Rounded coffee and end table corners limit accident risk.
  • Layered textures make keeping you cozy and comfortable year-round easy.
  • Extra lamps, and multi-bulb lights help with less-than-perfect vision.

These are just some examples of how modern home adaptations can keep you on-trend and safe as you age in place. If you have specific needs or aesthetic must-haves, always talk to an interior designer who specializes in living in place. 

The formal living room has all but disappeared as knocking down walls for endless sightlines has been on-trend for a while now. Falling in line with this modern style, consider widening walkways, the front door, and other entries and hallways for yourself. 

In the meantime, the next question you might have: So, how do you find the right renovation specialist to update your home with aesthetics and long-term safety in mind?

Finding Minor and Major Renovation Specialists to Update with Long-Term Safety in Mind

Our design process considers more than a trip to the hardware store for new ceiling fans and fresh coat of paint. Sure, modern-style ceiling fans are great for circulation, but what about safety and accessibility?

We think about how you will use your space now and later whether we’re developing a plan for minor or major renovations and upgrades. Not every renovation or remodeling contractor does. 

That being said, you don’t always need an architect to design these modifications for your modern home, either. But when working with a designer or renovation contractor, you do need a pro certified in living in place. 

Here’s what to look for as you hunt for the right person for your modern home renovation or remodeling project:

Certified Living in Place Professional

You want a Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP) because they will have expertise in aging in place. They can help you think beyond conventional renovation. 

A certified specialist has the hands-on experience it takes to best understand your needs today…and tomorrow. They have the insight to anticipate future changes.

Your discussions will inform decisions about how to tailor your modern home modifications now for easy adjustment when you need to make them down the line. 

Universal Design Experience

Most, but not all, certified specialists are well-versed in the concept of Universal Design. This is the practice of infusing modern design elements that offer safety and comfort to those with special needs while remaining functional for everyone else.

What’s especially exciting about utilizing the seven principles of Universal Design is they are perfectly suited for any age, size, or ability (and disability). That means, they’ll accommodate everyone from your grandkids to your aging parents. 

This kind of accessibility when renovating your home also equates to improving the overall value of your property.

 

For questions and help with renovations, please contact us at Aging Graceful at Home.

 

*Some information came from Living in Place Design