Many seniors appreciate the easy lifestyle and the amenities of assisted living communities. However, most of us do not imagine ourselves spending the last days of our lives in old age homes. There is an increasing preference among seniors than ever for aging in place at their own homes and the neighborhood where you spent the majority of your life.
It is not a pleasing thought to leave the home that you build by working hard all your life. Age in place is gaining more recognition due to the high cost for long-term care. The generation of baby boomers who lead a highly vibrant and active lifestyle in comparison to previous generations also prefer to age in place.
The rapid advancement of technologies and the availability of a wide array of services make it easier for elderly residents to lead an independent life. Many of the seniors spend a majority of their adult lives raising their families in their own homes and hence prefer to remain at the place which is witness to a plethora of pleasant memories.
According to the reports from AARP, around 90 percent of seniors prefer spending at least 10 years of their life after 65 in their own homes. Besides making modifications to your home, you can also invest in certain technologies that are useful for keeping elderly family members safe. If you do not know what modifications to do, this article will list down 7 of the best home modifications for seniors aging in place.
1. Upgrade The Lighting And Reduce The Glare
Aging brings about sensory loss, and you can have impairments in your sight, which makes it challenging to navigate through the clutter of furniture in a dimly lit home. You can do some simple modifications such as painting the inside walls of the home with a light, non-reflective color. It would help if you also painted the ceilings white, which will reflect light making the room more visible
The flooring needs to be dull for preventing glare and ensuring the safety of the seniors. Older adults require more light to perform tasks and need more illumination indoors. You can use more high wattage bulbs, and you may hide the bulb from visibility to prevent glare. LED bulbs are excellent for seniors as it lasts further than other bulbs and hence require less replacement.
2. Widen Your Doors and Hallways
It would help if you modified your narrow doors and passages to be broad enough for walkers and wheelchairs to access quickly. You may need to relocate the light switches, cut out the wallboard, and remove the door unit and trim. You can then proceed to install the new broader door unit and frame and fit it in place.
3. Shift To The First Floor
It would help if you also considered shifting all the rooms that the senior person uses to the first floor for easy access. Climbing staircases can be a strenuous task and can lead to accidents. You should also choose wide open spaces with plenty of air circulation to tight and narrow rooms and hallways.
4. Secure The Bathrooms
Bathrooms are the most hazardous room in a house, and the risk of a senior slipping and injuring themselves is high due to the presence of water. Consider replacing the bathtub with a walk-in shower, which is much safer, and you can install two or three grab bars in the shower space to enhance safety.
5. Use Area Mats Instead Of Rugs
Rugs can become a safety hazard if the senior does not lift their feet high enough, and they trip and fall. Big area rugs can slip and move about, creating a safety hazard. You can replace the floor rugs with heavier rubber mats, and they do not move due to their heavyweight. They are also less slippery when wet than hard floors.
6. Upgrade The Kitchen Accessibility
Store all the items in the kitchen at easy to reach distance and lower cupboards which do not require climbing. A pullout pantry is excellent for viewing all the components at a glance without needing to take them out. Drawers also put less stress on your knees and backs. Alter the heights of sinks and counters to be more accessible while sitting.
7. Using Technology
GPS trackers are an excellent non-intrusive technology for keeping track of seniors ailing from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Even if the elderly adult walks around and loses their direction or forget where they are, you can still locate them and track them down. A mobile phone is also great for the senior to call their loved ones and ask for help.
You can use power cord to make plug points accessible to seniors without needing to get up and walk often. Ensure that you conceal the cords as they can be a tripping hazard. Cell phones also help to keep in touch dear ones who are at distant places as well as closer locations.
It may still not be possible to be independent throughout your life. However, age in place makes it much safer to remain in your homes. By making modifications that enable aging in place, seniors can save a large amount of money while still being independent.
It is essential to understand what aging in place means, and it does not entail sterilizing your home like a hospital. You need to avail the services of a Certified Aging In Place Specialist or CAPS, who will help you in modifying your home according to the needs of family members with a disability or senior residents. At the same time, they age for making their life easier.
Aging in place modifications will increase the safety and convenience in a home while maintaining the aesthetic appeal. The biggest advantage is that any modification will only cost a tiny percentage of the cost of assisted living homes. According to the National Association for Home Builders, there is an increase from 68 percent to 80 percent in the number of remodeling companies that provides Aging In Place upgrades.
This guest post was graciously contributed by Content Marketing Executive, Emma Willson.