Age in Place is the Choice for Most Seniors

Age in PlaceAge in Place is the new way of saying, remaining in your own home. We can count on some physiological changes to occur from our sixties through our nineties, and beyond. Vision for instance frequently becomes less acute with age. There may be some gait and balance issues requiring a cane, walker or wheelchair. Reaching and bending can increase the risk of falling. Fear not, there are many simple and affordable ways to make your home safer and more user friendly for an older you. With the Boomers changing the marketplace of home improvement for the better, design has become as important as functionality. No one wants their home to look like a medical facility as they age in place.

The best time to do some “age in place” modifications is when you are doing other home improvements. If you aren’t planning any big projects, then you can budget some modifications over time. The key is to have an eye on safety and aesthetics so that you may remain living independently at home.

 Simple Tips for Home Safety:

  1. Improve the lighting around your home and use sensor or motion activating lighting on stairs and from the bed to the bathroom.
  2. Install grab bars in the shower/ tub and around the toilet.
  3. Have built in seat/bench in shower and a hand held shower head.
  4. Get a raised commode.
  5. Find your ideal comfort height for counters in the kitchen and bathroom.
  6. Consider roll away cabinets for the kitchen.
  7. Look at your doorways and hallways to see whether they are wide enough to accommodate a walker or wheelchair.
  8. For stairs, check railings and use a contrast color on step edges.
  9. For yards, consider tile, rocks or shells instead of grass.
  10. Change out door knobs for levers.

There is plenty of information online. Stroll through Home Improvement stores, large and small for ideas. You may also consult with A C.A.P.S who is a certified specialist in Aging in Place.

As with most things, it is recommended to make changes well ahead of when you actually need them. Often a fall or surgery causes a change in your mobility or agility and the need to modify your home becomes acute. In that case you have to decide on things quickly and are much more expensive.

Aging in Place takes some planning. Think about yourself in your home 10, 15 or 25 years from now. Make the modifications to your liking and in your time frame and budget. Even with all the right modifications, sometimes in-home assistance is necessary for short or long term care. Having the right safety equipment helps the caregiver also.