Do you have trouble opening and closing your garage door? After returning home from work or spending time with the grandkids, the last thing you want to worry about is trying to open and close your heavy garage door. Physically lifting a garage door is difficult for anyone regardless of their age and once you get older it becomes nearly impossible, especially if you have mobility or joint problems.
Many seniors choose to live in their homes for as long as possible instead of moving to assisted living spaces, but two of their biggest concerns are preventing falls and aging in place. Deciding to live at home can give you a sense of independence while proving to yourself and others that you are perfectly capable of taking care of yourself. But, in order to remain living at home, it’s imperative to make some changes so your home is more accessible. These changes start with updating your garage.
If you’re still driving yourself around, you need a safe place to store your car and your garage may be difficult to operate now that you’ve gotten older. The good news is that with some simple changes, your garage door can be simple and easy to use. These are the garage modification that you need to make in order for your garage to work for you and to maintain your sense of independence.
Invest in Automatic Garage Doors
If your home is older, you may still be using a manually-operated door. Even if you’re able to operate a manual door, it’s a good idea to invest in a door that can be used with automatic door openers in case your mobility or strength weakens in the future. Opening an automatic garage door is as simple as pressing a button; there’s no heavy lifting involved! There are also sensors that will keep the door from closing if there is something in the way.
Choose High-Security Doors
For homeowners, home security is a top priority. By investing in a high-security garage door, you’ll have peace of mind, especially if your garage is attached to your home. Garage doors made of steel are the most secure and they will prevent even the most persistent intruders from entering your home. Your garage door should be fitted with a sturdy lock that can’t be easily picked or broken. When possible, invest in an electronic combination lock because it will make your garage even more secure.
Make Sure Your Door is Properly Insulated
If you’ve been living in your home for a while, you’ve probably noticed that during the summer your garage door gets extremely overheated and in the winter your door is ice cold. When you go to open your door, you may not notice that it’s really hot or cold, which is incredibly dangerous.
Also, if your garage is attached to your home, poor garage insulation can make it harder and more expensive to keep your home cool. By making sure your door is properly insulated, you’ll have more control over the temperature of your garage and you can drown out the outside noises coming from a busy road.
Ensure You Have Enough Ceiling Clearance
Did you recently upgrade your car from a sedan to a minivan or SUV because it’s easier for you to get in and out of the vehicle? If you use a cane, walker, or wheelchair, taller vehicles are better choices for you because they won’t put a strain on your joints. If you’ve upgraded your vehicle, it’s important to make sure your garage has enough ceiling clearance to accommodate taller vehicles.
Tilt-up garage doors are problematic as they sit against the ceiling and when opened, they can reduce garage ceiling clearance. Roller garage doors are a better option if your garage has a low ceiling because they can be wrapped around a spool located above the doorway when opened and they take up little ceiling space.