With age comes wisdom, and thankfully, retirement. As you move from the hectic life of work and obligations to a home-centric life of leisure, you may need to take a look at the details of your home, particularly safety. Look to create a safer haven for you to age in, but don’t forget about style. There are several interior design tricks you can add to make sure you are protected without feeling like you’re restricted. Here are just a few areas to think about:
Ornate Security Doors
One concern for home owners is the threat of home invasion. When you’ve worked hard all your life to accumulate what you have, you want to be sure to protect it. Besides having good door locks, one of the greatest burglary deterrents you can add to your home is a security screen door (or glass storm door). Security screen doors, particularly the stainless steel variety, make a forced entry into your home much more difficult for would-be invaders.
The nice thing about security screen doors is that they are available in an array of sizes, colors and styles. Some are quite ornate and mirror design periods like Gothic, Baroque, French countryside, modern, and Greco-Roman. The installation of an ornate security door can improve the outer appearance of your abode as well as offer protection and peace of mind.
Fashionable Privacy Blinds
A safety precaution that is simple in concept but sophisticated in style is the installation of privacy blinds. Although windows are great for your decor and providing natural sunlight, thieves, peeping toms and even curious kids can get a full view of your domicile through your windows. Be proactive for this security risk by covering their line of view. Plus, like the security doors, window shades come in many forms, styles, prints, textures and colors.
A completely dark home tells potential burglars that there’s no one there, as do accumulated newspapers. To address the lighting issue, just install simple timers or automation, starting with automating the porch light to turn on at dusk and off at 10-11pm. Fancier setups can add convenience such as one-button lighting scenes like I use, or using proximity or motion sensors to turn lights on automatically when you enter a room or get up at night to use the bathroom. You don’t want to be blinded when turning on lights in a dark room, so set them to ramp slowly to a preset dim setting and lower the tripping risk.
With my digital home consulting background, I’ve written many articles on home automation technologies that add safety, security and convenience. I advocate using these to help with independent living but disagree that Smart Homes are the next big thing, because that vision is now over 58 years old.
Stylish and Safe Stairways
Stairways are often a necessary but dangerous feature in a home. Stair falls are responsible for almost 12,000 fatalities each year, according to the National Safety Council, and about 6,000 of those occur in the home. Most likely, ripping out your stairs and installing an elevator is not an option, and neither is a stair lift, but you can make stairs safer without sacrificing your personal style. Here are a few options from this excellent article on Making Stairs Safe. It has lots of great photos with good and bad examples:
- Clearly define the steps by using a contrast color between the risers and the treads. This allows you to visibly note the height and width of each step.
- To protect against a fall due to loss of balance, install new handrails specified to your height so you can brace yourself if you start slipping.
- Add a griping texture to the tops of your steps to avoid slipping or to counteract a misstep.
- Lastly, one of the most visually striking options is to under light the steps. With each step illuminated, missing a step is less likely, especially when navigating the stairway at night.
When it comes to anti slip solutions there are some things you can control and some you can’t. Fortunately, your own home is something you can, so it’s important to address the potential for slip and fall accidents where you can. The first place to start is in the bathroom and kitchen. Wet conditions aggravated by soaps, conditioners and shampoo make the tub or shower of particular concern, so install grab bars for support. Also consider bath mats or slip resistant coatings for an invisible anti slip finish in the tub or shower, or on the hard, non-porous, or sealed flooring. There are also a wide array of seating options for tubs and showers available in big box stores, medical supply and drug stores.
As you move into your golden years, you’ve earned some peace of mind. By taking just a few precautions, you can make sure your home is designed to your personal style and safety needs.