Easy Ways To Age In Place

Photo credit by Pixabay

As life expectancy and good health grows among seniors, more of them are choosing to age in place rather than relocating to an adult care facility. However, it’s still wise to make accommodations for current and future safety concerns. And if modifications aren’t a possibility, you can still find a home that meets your needs.

Easy Home Modifications

Modifications don’t have to be complicated. Some simple changes may provide the safety you need as you age. The biggest modifications will prevent falls and trips. The best place to start? In your bathroom.

Bathroom Modifications

The CDC states that a whopping 81 percent of bathroom injuries are caused by falls – and they were more common for people over the age of 65. Simple and affordable changes that make your bathroom safer include:

●      Adding grab bars to bathtubs, showers and around toilets.

●      Replacing your shower head with a handheld.

●      For those with wrist mobility issues, replace standard faucets and handles with levered options. You can do this for all the faucets and door knobs in your home.

●      Use non-slip mats in unsafe areas. Learn about ADA compliant floor mats from Eagle Mats.

Read more options for creating an accessible bathroom from Disability Horizons.

Create The Best Lighting

Lighting can also protect you from spills and falls. Make sure there are no dark areas to navigate, particularly in areas like steps or alcoves. Update existing lights to brighter fixtures. IES Light Logic recommends:

●      Avoid light glare, which can be reduced by positioning or with reduced glare fixtures.

●      Use LED lighting to help with safe navigation of wheelchairs and other devices.

●      Use motion sensor lights for security and for nighttime lighting.

In addition, AARP lists some simple ideas to see more clearly such as replacing toggle light switches with easier-to-use rocker style switches.

Other Safety Options

This article from the Huffington Post recommends setting the hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less to avoid scalding water coming out of your tap. Also be sure to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor at least, if not a smoke detector in every room. Invest in a lightweight fire extinguisher that you can handle on each floor as well.

High Tech Safety

In addition to a security system, there are a number of other high-tech options you might want to add to your home to keep you safe as well. For example, wireless home monitoring can help detect incidents such as health emergencies, falls and other types of monitoring that can save your life. Read about more systems developed for senior safety in this post from A Place For Mom.

Moving To An Accessible Home

If these updates are not doable for you or are too minor to cover your needs, it may be a good idea to buy an accessible home. According to Ams Vans, it’s preferable to buy a house built after 1991 as the building standards were update and are more likely to support accessibility options.

Once you know what you need, you can use online filters to search for accessible homes for sale in your area. Create a checklist of your accommodation needs. For example, look for homes built after 1991, or use the relevant search terms, such as “wheelchair accessible home,” to find what you’re looking for. Of course, your budget and desired located are important, too. To give you an idea of price ranges, accessible homes in Las Vegas, Florida, typically sell for $300,000.

A few simple measures can make your current home more accessible. However, large-scale renovations may be more costly than buying an accessible home instead. Either option can help you age in place for years to come.