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Future-proofing your home

Future-proofing your home
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For older adults, the ability to stay in their own homes as they age is paramount. Successfully ageing in place, however, requires careful planning for security and safety issues that may otherwise impact their ability to remain at home. We’ve rounded up 14 DIY projects that can make your home user-friendly far into the future.

Smart taps

Smart taps
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Making smart additions to the kitchen, such as automatic taps or water-temperature regulators to prevent scalding, can boost the safety of meal prep and clean-up.

Low-profile flooring

Low-profile flooring
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High-pile carpet and uneven floors are trip hazards for those wishing to age in place. While carpet is soft and warm underfoot, loose-looped or shag carpet can be dangerous. A low-pile alternative will make it safer, especially in low-light conditions.

Filters for cleaner air

Filters for cleaner air
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Allergens abound in a house and can exacerbate existing health problems. Choose a high-quality air filter and change it often to keep irritants at bay.

Add lever-style handles

Add lever-style handles
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Round door handles can be difficult to turn especially for those with arthritis or stiff joints. Replace all door knobs with lever-style handles to make getting in and out a cinch.

Add safety lighting

Add safety lighting
The Family Handyman

A big part of future-proofing your home is determining how to prevent slips, trips and falls. One smart idea is to place lighting at knee height and below to illuminate stairways and hallways.

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Rocker switches

Rocker switches
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Converting traditional light switches to a rocker-plate is an easy DIY project that can make everyday living easier for seniors. Some models even contain a lighted panel to help you find the switch at night. For more options in an older home, there are wireless light switch options that let you control devices from anywhere in the room.

While rocker switches are always a good idea, here are 13 things you’re doing to your home that real estate agents wouldn’t.

Grab bars

Grab bars
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From outside the home to interior spaces and bathrooms, grab bars are the perfect way to prevent falls at home.

Security system

Security system
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A smart home security system does more than deter burglars; it can keep you safe and summon help when you need it. A wifi security system is a valuable tool to allow older adults the freedom of ageing in place while having peace of mind that everything is as it should be. Aiming security cameras at knee height allows plenty of privacy for homeowners while allowing loved ones to determine whether a fall has taken place and summon help – even if they live far away.

Annoying neighbours? Here’s how to block them out. 

Wide pulls

Wide pulls
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Small knobs, like those commonly found on kitchen cabinets, can be hard to grasp when dexterity is an issue. Update and replace knobs with cabinet pulls in a “D” shape to allow the most clearance for fingers to grasp.

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