With everyone spending more time at home, the little quirks and flaws of our homes have become more apparent than ever. For seniors in particular, staying put inside their homes all day could be a major factor contributing to the state of their mental health. Our homes should be a sanctuary away from stress, not the cause of it. Here are some considerations to make daily life a little less stressful in the new normal for seniors while still promoting independent living.
Convert Rooms or Living Space
If you’re lucky enough to have a flex or bonus room in your home, it may be tempting to make this an all-purpose space. Using these spaces to create a room that is perfect for your elderly loved one can make aging in place a lot less stressful. Smaller rooms like an unused guest bedroom can easily be converted into the perfect knitting area.
Even the smallest corner can be a successful reading nook with the right lighting. Carving out spaces and converting seldom used rooms, each with a new designated use, can help break up the day and help a senior avoid that stir crazy feeling of living in one room. Designed properly, these rooms will be favorites in their home.
Upgrade the Kitchen
If your elderly loved one is due for a small kitchen remodel, read about finding your perfect kitchen layout first. If you don’t want to tackle an entire remodel, consider upgrading the appliances that have gone into overdrive, from a bigger fridge to a nicer coffee pot.
If those big upgrades aren’t in the budget, but you’re worried about the strain on your current systems and appliances, proactive measures like a home warranty can provide peace of mind and save money for future problems, especially if a senior is incapacitated or sick. Smaller, cosmetic upgrades like a cabinet refresh or new backsplash can also make an old kitchen feel like new and will surely be something a senior will appreciate should they enjoy cooking!
Seek out Smart Technology
We’ve all seen the commercials where blissful and stress-free families enjoy more time together because mom or dad was able to preheat the oven from their smartphone. Although some smart technology may be overwhelming for an aging adult, voice-activated and smart home-connected systems offer some great advantages. Even if you only add one smart element, companies are integrating with each other and developing more connected product offerings, so it’s easy to add more technology down the line.
Whether it’s peace of mind with a home security system so your elderly loved one is safe in their home, energy efficiency from a smart thermostat to help save money on utilities, or not having to get up to turn off the lights once a senior has reached their bed to mitigate the risk of injury, these smart upgrades can all add up for a more convenient and stress-free lifestyle.
Utilize your Outdoor Space
With spring soon approaching, that stuck-at-home, stir-crazy feeling can get better. As nice as your home can be inside, a little fresh air is always a healthy way to relax and recharge as a way to battle isolation. Start thinking about how a senior can set up a patio or balcony for when the weather warms up. Whether it’s just a quick lap around the yard or prepping their patio with a couple potted plants to foster their love for gardening, there are plenty of options for using outdoor space, even for seniors.
Although undertaking a big home project on behalf of your elderly loved one who is aging in place may not seem like the best way to reduce stress, taking notice of things they often struggle with is a perfect start to reducing stress in their home.