Many seniors want to remain in their current home instead of moving into a nursing home or assisted care facility. And while it’s easy to understand why that desire is so common among seniors, it’s almost just as common for the family members of seniors to be worried about safety. Since issues like falls are very serious concerns as people get older, it makes sense why plenty of family members worry about seniors’ ability to balance independence and safety.
While this issue isn’t a new one, the good news for both seniors and their family members is there are now more options than ever before for making additions and modifications to a home so that seniors can stay safe while continuing to enjoy an independent lifestyle. Best of all, these new aging in place options can blend in seamlessly with the existing design of a home so that they don’t take away from its aesthetic appeal.
Since there are many different aging in place options available, let’s take a look at five specific upgrade topics:
1) Bathrooms: Bathrooms are the areas where seniors are most likely to experience a serious fall. That’s because this space is often wet, and there’s generally not anything that someone can hold onto for support. To greatly enhance a bathroom’s safety, non-slip flooring can be added. Additionally, one or more grab bars can be installed on the walls. Unlike towel bars, grab bars can support all of someone’s weight.
There are several other options for making a bathroom more accessible to seniors. Modifications can be made to toilets and bathtubs so that it’s more convenient to get up and down. Hardware can be swapped out for pieces that are easier to grab and turn, and a device can be added to faucets and shower heads so it becomes impossible for a senior to accidentally scald themselves. Walk-in tubs and showers are also a great options for safe, independent and comfortable bathing.
2) Bedrooms: One issue many seniors experience is being able to get out of bed at night and go to the bathroom. The good news is there are multiple ways to address this issue. Rails or other support elements can be added to a bed so that it’s easier to get up. Another popular option is to increase the amount of lighting between the bedroom and bathroom.
3) Kitchens: The heart of the home can pose many challenges for aging seniors. Some popular kitchen modifications include stove safety devices, easier to grasp hardware and cabinet additions that allow items to be pulled out instead of requiring any lifting. Other modifications such as lowering counter height, and installing pull down shelving can improve mobility and functionality in the kitchen.
4) Access Ramps and Support Rails: When mobility becomes limited, getting in and out of the house over steps and thresh holds can become a challenge. Installing access ramps and railings to entry points in the home adds support and assistance so aging seniors can come and go as they please.
5) Lighting: Lighting can make all the difference when in comes to accessible and safe living. Poorly lit hallways are the perfect place for a accident, but hallways aren’t the only place that can benefit from additional lighting. Adding extra lights to kitchens can increase safety and functionality. In fact, a popular option is to put small lights inside of drawers. This makes it easy for seniors to reach in and find exactly what they need.
Aging in place modifications can help you or your loved one live comfortably in their own home. The professionals at House Doctors have the tools, products and experience to help you with all of your home modification and safety needs. Call House Doctors to arrange a consultation on how we can help you find the right solutions for a safe and independent lifestyle.