November 26, 2022
24 Environmental Dwelling Renovations for Seniors: A Information to Eco-Pleasant Growing older in Place

As an older grownup, you’ve greater than seemingly seen adjustments in our surroundings all through your lifetime. Perhaps you’ve seen extra excessive climate patterns, watched as a few of your favourite animals have grow to be extinct or seen firsthand how the tides have modified — each figuratively and actually. 

The U.S. expects to see greater than 95 million adults ages 65 and older by 2060, and your technology is vital to creating our world extra sustainable.1 The world wants each particular person to do their half within the identify of the atmosphere, and there are many methods in which you’ll assist. 

However with inexperienced enhancements comes the potential for harm, so it’s vital to observe security protocols to keep away from a fall or harm. Yearly, practically 36 million older adults report falls, and these falls have led to about 32,000 deaths.2 

This information to eco-friendly getting old in place can assist you be taught extra about residence sustainability and how you can use inexperienced dwelling practices to dwell a extra fulfilling life, keep secure and lively, and do your half to avoid wasting our surroundings.

Sustainable Dwelling Enchancment and Security Suggestions for Seniors 

In response to the AARP, about half of all adults anticipate that they are going to stay of their properties or group as they grow old, and about 66% of adults ages 65 and older report that they won’t transfer from their present residence and like to age in place.3

24 Environmental Dwelling Renovations for Seniors: A Information to Eco-Pleasant Growing older in Place

As a result of so many adults desire to stay of their properties as they grow old, it’s vital to prepared your house with sustainable updates designed to assist getting old. Many of those energy-efficient upgrades are easy fixes, however others could require extra intense renovations, particularly if your house is a couple of story.

Amongst all the explanations to construct a extra sustainable residence, crucial is to make it safer. Must you undergo a fall, the repercussions could possibly be extreme. As a substitute, set up these secure and sustainable upgrades to modernize your house.

Lavatory

The toilet is notoriously essentially the most harmful room in the home no matter age, however it’s the location the place many seniors will expertise falls. A lot of those accidents are on account of slick, soapy flooring, however burns are additionally a problem ought to faucet water be too sizzling. Keep away from a deadly fall or burn harm by putting in the next:

  • Add eco-friendly latex non-skid mats to reduce slip potential
  • Use elevated energy-efficient bogs for simpler sitting and water preservation
  • Set up tub seats and walk-in showers for simpler washing and fewer water waste
  • Set water heater to a most temperature of 120 levels Fahrenheit to keep away from burns

Bedrooms

Within the bed room, essentially the most harmful place is definitely the mattress. As you age, it can grow to be tougher to get out and in of mattress. And, chances are you’ll get out and in of mattress extra typically to make use of the toilet, loosen stiff joints or just seize a glass of water.

To keep away from falling away from bed and hurting your self, you’ll be able to set up railings or make sure that to have a walker or cane positioned on the fringe of your mattress for higher night time assist. It’s also possible to:

  • Transfer your bed room downstairs
  • Set up seize bars above the mattress to make it simpler to get out and in
  • Get a firmer mattress with eco-friendly CertiPUR-US certifications that has higher again assist4

Kitchen

The kitchen will also be a harmful place if it’s not correctly designed. The commonest kitchen accidents are burns, cuts and falls. Growing older adults can do the next to make their kitchens a safer place:

  • Elevate the dishwasher to keep away from bending
  • Set up environmentally pleasant decomposed granite counter tops
  • Make flat surfaces across the range so it’s simpler to wash
  • Decrease the peak of counter tops for ease of use
  • Set up non-slip latex mats to forestall falls

Dwelling Room

The lounge turns into an issue whether it is troublesome to navigate. Front room updates principally purpose to make the house extra user-friendly and higher suited to mobility. Right here are some things you are able to do to make your front room simpler to maneuver round: 

  • Be certain that all carpet corners are taped down to forestall tripping
  • In the event you want wheelchair accessibility, take out carpet and set up environmentally pleasant cork or bamboo flooring
  • Widen doorways for simpler wheelchair and walker entry
  • Declutter your house

Different Sustainable Dwelling Suggestions

The ideas within the room-specific sections solely scratch the floor of what you are able to do to make your house a safer place to age. As your house home equipment grow old and must be changed, replace them with extra energy-efficient choices and be sure you take into account the next sustainable dwelling swaps:

  • Vitality-efficient oven, vary, dishwasher and fridge
  • Good thermostat to manage temperatures extra effectively
  • Photo voltaic panels to offset your house power prices or assist energy in-home medical units 
  • Heated flooring for higher inner temperature management
  • Home windows rated for power effectivity
  • Handles as a substitute of knobs for simpler greedy
  • Vitality-efficient LED lights (and set up loads of them to enhance visibility)

12 Eco-Pleasant Life Hacks for Seniors

The battle towards local weather change can solely be received if all generations work collectively to implement sustainable dwelling into their every day lives, and there are lots of methods for the senior group to do their half. 

8 Suggestions for Inexperienced Dwelling

Inexperienced dwelling doesn’t should be exhausting for seniors. There are various methods you will be extra sustainable with out having to make main adjustments to your every day life-style. Plus, many of those actions are nice in your bodily and psychological well being, to not point out a good way to fulfill different eco-conscious older adults in your group.

Plant a Dwelling Backyard or Be part of a Neighborhood Backyard

As you grow old, you would possibly discover that you’ve extra time in your arms. This is a wonderful time to plant a house backyard or be part of a group backyard. You may keep your personal provide of fruits, greens and herbs so you’ll be able to eat nicely and sustainably. Gardening can be nice train and you will get your physique transferring in a means that’s simple on the joints. 

Along with supplying your personal meals, gardening is a wonderful alternative to spice up social interplay. As a result of it’s so vital to develop relationships and discover pals within the older grownup group, gardening is a superb exercise for all.

senior connects with child doing sustainable home activity of gardening
Credit score: Ronnie Kaufman / Getty Photos

Select Natural and Sustainably-Sourced Merchandise

Not all meals are sourced sustainably, so attempt to make a aware effort to decide on natural and sustainably sourced merchandise in your residence. Natural merchandise are grown with fewer chemical substances and preservatives, so these merchandise are higher in your well being. 

Use Reusable Mugs and Water Bottles

As a substitute of utilizing a brand new plastic water bottle or espresso mug each time you’ve one thing to drink, spend money on a reusable water bottle and occasional thermos. Along with reducing your contributions to the huge quantities of plastic that plague our waste websites, switching to reusable drinkware can even assist you get monetary savings by not having to always purchase new water bottles or paper espresso cups. 

Depend on Contemporary Air

One of many best methods to save cash in your electrical invoice is to make use of contemporary air and open home windows to keep up the temperature of your house when doable. This might not be doable year-round, however when the seasons change or when the climate is temperate, it may be a good way to minimize your power prices and benefit from the contemporary air.

Set up Vitality-Environment friendly Home equipment

As your older home equipment break down or must be changed, take into account putting in energy-efficient home equipment as a substitute. These home equipment are higher for the atmosphere and they’re going to additionally prevent cash in your power payments. You may set up energy-efficient washers, dryers, fridges, HVAC programs, dishwashers and extra.

These home equipment could appear to be fairly the funding upfront, however they are going to prevent cash in the long term. As you constantly improve your home equipment, you’ll begin to see the optimistic affect in your month-to-month utility payments. 

Automobile Swimming pools and Trip Shares

As you grow old, chances are you’ll not drive as a lot or really feel as snug driving by yourself. As extra rideshare and carpool corporations have entered the scene, these providers have grow to be extra extensively obtainable and secure for older adults.

Trip shares, corresponding to Uber and Lyft, can prevent cash in an abundance of the way. You’ll now not have to keep up a automobile, you received’t should pay for fuel and also you received’t should retailer your automobile when not in use. Some rideshare corporations additionally provide free or discounted rides to medical doctors’ appointments and medical remedies.

Downsize Your Dwelling

You would possibly personal a house that you simply’ve had for what looks like perpetually, however typically it’s exhausting to handle such a big home as you get older. You may, in fact, keep in your house and age in place, but it surely may also be value it to think about downsizing. Not solely will you’ve fewer payments every month, however you’ll have much less house to keep up as you grow old.

Spend money on Neighborhood Photo voltaic Gardens

We perceive in the event you’re not excited by shopping for your personal photo voltaic panels to offset your power invoice. However many communities and states throughout the U.S. have began to construct group photo voltaic gardens for group members to spend money on as a substitute. This lets you profit from sustainable photo voltaic power with out the excessive upfront value of putting in a house photo voltaic system.

By investing in group photo voltaic, you’ll be doing all your half to make use of extra sustainable power sources and reduce your reliance on the ability grid. In flip, this may assist power corporations sustain with common upkeep and provide electrical energy to properties that depend on it.

4 Advantages of Sustainable Dwelling for Seniors

Not solely are eco-friendly residence updates helpful for the atmosphere, however there are a number of different advantages for these 65 and older. 

  • Going inexperienced can get monetary savings: Vitality environment friendly updates — corresponding to Vitality Star home windows, photo voltaic panels or home equipment that use much less water and improved insulation — can assist you get monetary savings through the use of much less power.
  • Builds a stronger group: Common social connection has many optimistic impacts on the senior group, together with improved temper, fewer damaging emotions and elevated bodily exercise.5 Many eco-friendly practices, like gardening, encourage social interplay amongst pals, household and group members.
  • Encourages an lively life-style: Gardening and group clean-ups are a good way to spice up bodily exercise, vitamin D consumption and social interplay.
  • Discover that means with optimistic change: As you age, it’s vital to domesticate a way of objective, and investing in eco-friendly dwelling is a wonderful means to take action. Whenever you discover a objective in life, you usually tend to have higher bodily and psychological well-being.6 

5 Dwelling Enchancment Grant Choices for Seniors

There isn’t any hiding that sustainable residence enchancment is pricey, however as a result of it’s so essential, many organizations provide monetary help to assist older adults fund their tasks. The very best locations to contact for residence enchancment funds are your native church and authorities, however different choices for monetary help will be discovered within the chart beneath.

Senior Dwelling Enchancment Program Identify Description
Low-income Dwelling Vitality Help Program (LIHEAP) This program helps older adults who qualify as low-income pay for residence power, weatherization, energy-related residence repairs and HVAC programs.
The US’ Weatherization Help Program (WAP) WAP helps low-income households and seniors entry power effectivity upgrades to cut back the prices of their power payments.
Single-family Housing Restore Loans & Grants from the USDA The U.S. Division of Agriculture affords loans and grants to these over the age of 62 to restore residence home equipment and improve outdated residence programs.
Housing For Individuals With Disabilities Program from the VA The Division of Veterans Affairs affords grants to veterans who’ve everlasting disabilities. In the event you qualify, you will get funds to buy or construct tailored housing.
Housing Preservation Grant Program (HPG) Low-income older adults who dwell in rural areas could qualify for monetary help to assist protect their properties. This grant is supposed to assist seniors get loans, curiosity discount and residential enhancements.