Home is where the heart is; and if your home starts to look like a shack where hobos go to shoot-up some meth, then it’s probably time to consider refashioning the place.

However, what’s more important is to take into account the special needs of the individuals living under your roof. All things age; that’s just a universal truth but nothing hits harder than seeing our loved ones, our parents, age and become dependent on us.

It is incumbent upon us to provide them with the same ease and convenience that they worked so hard to provide us with when we were growing up. It is a small step towards the repayment of the ultimate debt, a return on the investment they made in us, their children.

The best way to make life manageable for them is to renovate your home in a manner befitting the needs of an elderly individual.

Accessory dwelling units

This is basically a dwelling within a dwelling. A structure within the primary abode or located next to it, that serves as living space for the elderly individuals in question.

ADU’s can be built on existing property if you have the right idea and the right professionals. A few likely areas to consider are an attractive cottage in the backyard, the basement which can be converted into a nice little apartment; provided that it is spacious enough, or the top of your garage where you can lay out a plan for a little house with a gabled roof.

There are quite a few aspects you should be aware of when constructing the unit.

Layout

Elderly people climb up and down stairs as easily as you or I can scale mount Everest; meaning once is an achievement, twice is an impossibility and on every try, you’re facing certain death.

Okay, perhaps that is a bit of an exaggeration, but is nevertheless very important that you design a floor plan that is level. If you cannot do without stairs, then the addition of sturdy handrails on both sides is an absolute must.

Install an ample amount of lights so as to illuminate the area as best as possible. Older people often have difficulty navigating dimly lit rooms and hallways.

Be wary of the space that will have to walk through. Make the bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen and hallways roomy enough so that it can be easily navigated even while using a walker or a wheelchair.

Corners can be especially tricky. You may think your hallway is wide enough until someone has…
 

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