I remember telling my students that the body’s flexibility decreases as we age, making simple tasks a little harder. They weren’t having any of it. Remember, they were high school students. Some of them told me and showed me they could do a split, touch their toes, and many other things. I told them to think about babies. Think about how flexible they are. They can put their toes in their mouth (I never have understood why they do this, but they do). I had a few that said they could but were unwilling to show us–because they couldn’t.
As we mature, we find that we can’t do what we did at one time. Even Tina Turner couldn’t roll on the river as she did when she was with Ike. The heels got a little lower, and dancing was still great, but not done the entire show. We must admit that Tina Turner was always in shape–everyone can’t say this.
Remember when we wondered why our grandmother would sit on the side of the bed for a moment before she got up, and then we saw our mother start to do the same thing? It’s our time now. It’s not so bad. It’s just our way of getting motivated to get up.
On the Golden Bachelor, they gave the ladies bunk beds. Who thought of this? The one good thing about this was there was a little ladder and a guardrail to assist you in getting up to the top bunk. But really, bunk beds for women of a certain age?
As we adjust our homes, it seems we are not baby-proofing our house; we are making it livable for us. We can do many things in our homes and even in our cars that will assist us.
One of the first things I know people do, and I did it also, is to get taller toilets. Yes, you can get them in different heights. You would be surprised how much a couple of inches will help you. Some counties in Texas will give you these toilets for free.
You can add items that will help you get up from the toilet. These are not the most appealing things to discuss, but they may be necessary. The cost of these aids runs the gamut, with most being very inexpensive. Believe me; you will notice the difference when you go out and require using the facilities.
The bathtub/shower may need adjustments/modifications as we mature. There are several options depending on what is needed or what you see in the future. Adding grab bars to existing tubs or showers can be quickly done at little cost. Redoing your bathroom with a walk-in shower and a built-in bench is one way to upgrade. If you feel you must have a bathtub, there are the walk-in ones with a seating bench built in. The downside is that they take up a lot of space in the bath area, especially in older homes with smaller bathrooms. Even a regular bathtub with an area on the top that allows you to push up to get out is helpful. You can purchase a bench or buy a handheld shower head. All of these things are helpful as we mature.
The couch in the den is something that you may need to replace. If you are not in the market to purchase new furniture but have difficulty rising from the couch/chair because the cushions are soft, you may purchase items that can go under the cushions to make it more stable.
We don’t think of lights and ceiling fans with lights as we think of maturing. We must have lights and ceiling fans with lights so that we can replace the bulbs easily. It may be time to get the ones where you unscrew the bulb and put in another one–no more taking off the covers, screwing this end, etc. Changing to LED bulbs is one thing that can assist since these bulbs last for years.
Moving on to the kitchen. It may be time to return the microwave to the kitchen counter for easier access. It may also be time to replace the stove top with an induction one that cools as soon as you turn it off. This may, however, also entail purchasing new pots and pans. Since we tend to eat less as we mature, we may be able to use only a toaster oven or a microwave oven, which can also be a convection oven.
These are only a few things that come to mind when considering making our home the home of our future. Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Make your life as comfortable as you can.