HOW TO SAFELY AGE IN PLACE
When it comes to aging in place, you need to make sure you are prepared. This includes everything from a support system to a safe and comfortable home. We want to make sure that your home is equipped with everything you need to live safely, including remodeling your home to make it easier to safely move around. Here are some helpful tips for safely aging in place when it comes to your home.
Aging in Place Checklist
Home Entrance Tips
Many homes are different, with some having stairs up to their main entrance, and others having just a walkway. People are different as well, with some seniors in wheelchairs, and others not. If you do happen to be in a wheelchair, it would be very beneficial to add a ramp to your entrance door. If you are not in one and do not plan on using one, adding railings to your stairs is a great way to make your entrance safer. The railing is able to assist you by supporting your weight as you walk up or down the stairs. Even if you are not in a wheelchair, you may end up using something such as a walker. This is why you should widen your entryway. It will provide extra space if needed. One simple thing you can do to make your entrance safer is by adding more outdoor lights or installing a path lit up with lights. Your eyesight typically starts to decline as you age, so it’s important to stay on top of it and prepare ahead of time.
Some kitchens may not need much work in order to make it safer to age in place. For the ones that do need some work, here are some tips on what to do. If your light switches are in a difficult place to reach, it’s a good idea to adjust the height of those. It is also important to make note of the height of the cabinets because you ideally want to be able to reach the cabinets without a stool. Some garbage disposal switches are on the wall behind the sink, making you have to reach to flip them. You may want to think about moving that switch to an easier-to-use location. There can be tripping hazards in the kitchen as well. If you have a pet, there may be pet bowls or toys on the floor. Trash cans are also a big tripping hazard. It would be best to secure these things, so they are not shifting around all the time.
As you age, the act of sitting and standing can become quite difficult. This sometimes makes going to the bathroom difficult due to the height of the toilet. One thing you could do is replace your existing toilet with a taller version. If this is not an option for you, you can add grab bars next to the toilet, which is also great for showers and tubs. It can become difficult to keep your balance as you age, so grab bars are a great way to keep you on your feet! Another option for making your tub safer is swapping it out for a walk-in shower with a low step or no step at all.
As you age, it becomes more difficult to walk up the stairs. If most of your important rooms are not on the main level, you should look into getting a stairlift so you can safely ascend the stairs. If this is not an option for you, you should try to move the most used rooms downstairs, such as your bedroom. Within the bedroom, it is important to secure any rugs down to the ground because they are a big tripping hazard. This is not only true for the bedroom, but for all rugs you may have in your house. The height of furniture is something you should be thinking about. For example, is your bed too high? Is it too low? Can you easily get on and off? These are questions you should ask yourself as you prepare to age in place.
If you need assistance with preparing your home to age in place, we are here to help! Feel free to contact us using the phone number below with any questions.