Most of us have been inspired at some point by HGTV programs that fill our heads with interior design fantasies. However, the allure of home renovations usually dissipates as soon as an actual restoration begins.
Any home-owner will tell you: renovations are exhausting for you and your wallet.
This reality truly sinks in when the tables turn, and we find ourselves caring for our parents and grandparents in their old age. Finishing your basement comes in second to fall-proofing your grandma’s condo.
Different stages in life demand different needs. Getting older usually requires a few tweaks to our lifestyle and living situation. Sometimes this involves home renovations to make the space safer and more modern.
You don’t want to lose the homey feel of your grandparents’ timeless country cottage, but you do want to make it safe, secure, and practical for the new phase in life that you’re all entering.
Seniors need assistance with projects and maintenance around the house, and we owe it to them to help out.
Here’s a useful guide to renovating your grandparent’s home. Don’t worry; we’ll help you maintain the authentic, milk-and-cookies vibe of your favorite childhood getaway.
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Digitize and Organize
Various health issues can make seniors more susceptible to falling. For those who live alone, the risk is amplified. Clutter is one of the leading causes of trips and falls in the home.
Stacks of photographs, newspapers, and junk mail are common trip hazards and should be eliminated right away.
A great starting point in the renovation process is digitizing and organizing family photos. While we upload most of our memories, our grandparents probably keep boxes full of decaying pictures and memorabilia. This takes up storage room and poses a threat to their safety.
It can be hard to part with these things though, so assure your grandparents that you’re not throwing anything out, just uploading it to a place where the photos can’t be damaged or lost.
Installing digital picture frames will make the space more modern, and still allow your grandparents to have access to all their photos without creating clutter or safety hazards.
When renovating your grandparents’ home, also consider installing accessible storage solutions or expanding closets to help declutter the living areas. Shelves, bins, and even outdoor sheds will provide some extra space for odds and ends that might be potential tripping hazards.
The golden years are meant to be enjoyed, so be sure to include some 21st-century upgrades in your renovation. Your grandparents deserve it.
Automize what you can and what they are comfortable with. These days, your entire house can be “smart”, and you can control most lights, locks, and appliances with your phone or voice. For some seniors, upgrades like this will make life easier.
Eliminate hazardous cords and wires with wireless TV and internet modems.
Virtual assistant devices by Google and Amazon can help with reminders for medication, appointments, and deliveries, as well as provide entertainment.
Introduce your grandparents to some smart home gadgets and see what they prefer. This will help you make better decisions throughout the renovation process.
From rainfall showerheads to cushioned shower seats, your grandparents’ new amenities should be luxurious and practical.
Install Various Safety Precautions
Seniors are more at risk of falling victim to crimes and scams when they live alone. Consider safety and security features at all stages of the renovation to ensure the best quality of life for your grandparents.
Install video-doorbells and other home security protections, and teach your grandparents how to monitor them.
Install safety bars or handrails near the stairs and in bathrooms, bedrooms, and hallways to prevent falls. These amenities come in various modern designs that fit neatly into the room without drawing unwanted attention.
The Reward in Renovating Your Grandparents’ Home
While renovations are often expensive and inconvenient, relish the challenge when you take it on for a family member.
Our own homes may be full of lightweight side-tables, but the furniture found in a Baby Boomer’s residence is more likely to be solid oak antiques of substantial weight. So lend a hand and help your grandparents crush their next home renovation.