Why change the look and feel of your house if you really don’t have to in order make it more user friendly as you age?
For some of us it has been a life time of collecting, traveling and exploring our interests that create a unique sense of style and sense of home that reflects our individuality and how we have chosen to live our lives. Shared experiences with partners, friends and family and the mementos we collect as we move through our lives together remind us of what we value in life and what has made our lives memorable, fun and filled with love.
Some visible changes maybe unavoidable during the aging process, like installing hand rails, ramps, or the use of mobility aids. While others, such as lighting and better visibility throughout the home
can be improved without having to let go of the Murano glass table lamp you bought on a trip to Italy or the hand made Mexican chandelier you fell in love with on an unforgettable trip to Oaxaca.
A perfect example of how this can be done is with smart bulbs like the Yeelight recommended by Wirecutter it can go on and off at your command as well as be a warm or cool light depending on the time of day and the type of light you feel best illuminates the room you are occupying. The added feature of being able to operate these bulbs and similar smart bulbs from a smart phone or tablet allows you to set the correct lighting in a space long before you enter it, reducing disorientation from a shift in brightness or value of light.
Because our ability to see cool colors diminishes as we age, being able to adjust the color of the bulb can counter act the negative effects of this as well as make it easier to replicate natural exterior lighting in the the interior of your home which is better both for your eyes and your spirit.
Older more established modifications also allow us to adjust lighting as we go – dimmers, motion sensors and led strips which can help guide your way as you transition from room to room or indoors to outdoors. Led strips in particular are affordable and unobtrusive and can go on most surfaces – under cabinet, stair tread noses, kick plates, the edge of a counter top. They too come in different values so you can be playful with color or simply add a bright light source to a previously dark and potentially dangerous area in your home or yard.
Part of the decision to age in place is about loving the life you created and wanting to surround yourself with things and people who bring meaning to you. So let technology help you hold on to a sense of self, home and joy without the worry of accidents.