Most of our houses when they were first built, we knew what we wanted their exteriors to look like, how many rooms they should have, what amenities should be incorporated into the layout, and more. Oftentimes, we overlook designing our houses to be senior-friendly. We were still young, anyway, when we started constructing our dream homes or began scouting already built houses.We tend to forget that our parents are not getting younger, and so do we. it is the natural order of things – everyone gets old, our physical bodies deteriorate, and we develop illnesses that we could not prevent from happening.One of the measures that we should always take into consideration in building or finding a new home is how senior-friendly our homes-to-be are. We would not want our aging family members to be subjected to accidents just because we have failed to prepare our houses for their needs.The choice of flooring may pose harm as granite or smooth tiles may be too slippery for walking or even carpeted floors can cause falling or tripping. Their bedrooms may be located upstairs, which is not practical for health reasons. It would be tiresome for them to climb the stairs every so often to access rooms in the house. Other senior household members may even be in wheelchairs, which would seem impossible for them to navigate or reach the areas of the house that do not have ramps.
Modern designs of homes already include granny pods. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of granny pods, basically it is an area where senior members live independently by having their own living space within the vicinity of the property. It is also called an in-law apartment or in-law cottage.The idea here is that the granny pod is a tiny home, which you may compare it to a guest house. It can be designed as attached or detached from the main house. Often, homeowners redesign the garage to be a granny pod if there is no extra floor space on the property. A 300-square foot floor space can already do wonders.Repurposing the garage may merit a raised eyebrows to some as the garage is a vehicle parking space and storage of miscellaneous items. However, if that is the only space that you can convert, might as well do with what you currently have.Garages are also good location-wise. It has easy access from the outside and the main house. Compare it to bedrooms located upstairs, the garage as a granny pod would be the most ideal in terms of mobility and access.
If granny pods do not suit the taste of your senior family member or your family in general, it is still worth noting to keep the garage a safe space. The garage may be their recreational area or room for them to spend time and do their hobbies like woodworking, mechanical projects, and the like.Having to spend time in the garage may be worrisome. For one, the garage as a storage space means there are piles of stuff that may be a falling hazard and block the walkways. And these stored items can be causes of fire, especially if the garage is used as a storage for flammable chemicals.Second, the garages are initially built to serve as vehicle parking. So, the materials used in the garage flooring, ceiling, lighting, and doors are not apt for senior members. To keep the garage safe and secure, you will need to upgrade the materials.
The original garage doors that are entry points to the main house may be too narrow for accommodating the size of walkers, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids. It would be better to customize the garage doors according to what is needed. Moreover, it would also be great to have your doors put up with automatic configurations, which allow the senior members to freely go in and out of the vicinity. Door knobs installed should be easy for them to grip. A lever may be a good alternative for easier turning of the door knob. As for the locking mechanism, a door that recognizes the fingerprint or allows input of numerical keys will be great so that they do not have to bring physical keys or remember where they put them.
The garage floor must be first and foremost slip-resistant. Uneven floors must also be checked and fixed. Most garages have lower floors than the main house so you might as well want to level it so that the seniors would not be accidentally misstepping. Installing ramps will also make your garage more accessible, especially for seniors who are using mobility aids. Adding grab bars on the walls will also help them when walking through the area.
Aside from installing lights with high lumens, one great innovation in your garage is having a remote-controlled lighting system. This way, they do not need to frequently travel to the light switch. Or if you want it to be more convenient and more high-tech, you can purchase a sound-sensitive lighting system that turns on and off with a clap. There are also lighting systems that can be scheduled to be turned on and off during specific times. Also, install nightlights that can be detected with a sensor so that their walkways are illuminated. Remember that most seniors develop night vision concerns so it would be better to secure their pathways with sufficient lighting.
Since most seniors are still active and would like to spend doing projects in the garage, a great investment for their workspace is an electric height adjustable work table. And one that you could rely on is the Fleximounts WB101 Electric Height Adjustable Work Table.It has a smart memory electric lift system, which allows height adjustment from 29.5 inches to 43.3 inches with a simple touch of the keypad. The work surface of the table is made from 100% rubberwood, offering a 47.2-in. by 23.6-in. work table top. And its solid construction makes it possible for the table to hold up to 500 lbs.