And you thought I just do surgery on knees and shoulders!
But I’m not here to advise you on color, wall paper or tile. I am here to suggest a house in which you can stay come hell or high water… or when you get old.
If you live long enough, you will eventually think about downsizing. But it would also behoove you to think about some household conveniences to make it easier to live at home longer, especially if you were to become disabled. Frankly, most of us aren’t thinking this far ahead. We buy smaller, but we often move out of a two-storied house right into another, only to realize later, that our knees don’t like stairs.
Avoid two-storied homes, but also watch for those little one and two step landings. They don’t seem that hard to navigate now, but if you’re in a wheelchair or a walker, you might as well be living in a six-floor walk-up in the middle of Brooklyn.
Look for doors wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. There are so many situations which necessitate the use of one, and if you can’t get to the bathroom, then it’s “Hello bedside commode.”
Convert lower cabinets to pull-out drawers or shelves. Once your knees or hips go bad, you can no longer get down to those lower cabinets, and those spaces become useless.
Convert some or all toilets to “comfort height.” They’re about 2 inches taller than traditional toilets. Your knees will love you for it.
Make sure you have at least one walk-in shower. If you don’t have this option, you will have to rely on assistance or spit baths to get clean. Ugh. ‘Nuff said.
It’s so important to live in your own space and to remain independent as you age. Be pro-active when downsizing.