HOW TO ADAPT YOUR HOME TO MEET SENIOR'S CHANGING NEEDS
Most Americans today prefer to live at home as they age. Aging at home could be challenging if your home is not adapted to meet your loved one’s changing needs. If your home is not modified to accommodate changing physical abilities, it could turn hazardous or even life-threatening. Luckily, a few small changes can dramatically reduce the risk of injury and discomfort for seniors at home.
The National Association of Home Builders has launched a program called “Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist”, which connects you with individuals trained to assess your home to point out and suggest modifications to prevent your loved one from falling and other risks.
If you are wondering if you really need to carry out these modifications to your home, consider this: According to recent statistics, nearly 1/3rd of American senior citizens experience a fall each year. The factors attributed to the falls include:
- Environmental factors
- Tripping hazards
- Poor lighting
Experts say that most of these falls could have been prevented because a majority of the homes were devoid of the much-needed adaptations to meet their senior’s needs. There is number of home safety products available today which are recommended to protect and prevent injury to seniors. First, these home adaptations help our loved ones improve their quality of life. Below is a checklist of the most recommended home adaptations for seniors:
HOME ADAPTATIONS CHECKLIST:
- Installing grab bars in toilets and bathtubs
- Installing walk-in bathtub or tub seat
- Arranging furniture to provide sufficient walking paths, especially considering mobility devices
- Keeping smaller objects off the floor
- Securing electric wires and cords to the wall
- Substituting doorknobs with lever door handles
- Increasing the width of doorways, as well as hallways to facilitate the movement of wheelchairs
- Decreasing the height of sinks and countertops
- Providing adequate lighting, especially in hallways and stairways
- Installing an elevator/chairlift
- Installing hardwood or vinyl floors
- Replacing standard switches with rocket-style switches
If you live in a home is more than two decades old, you should plan to implement the aforementioned home adaptations at the earliest opportunity. Taking a proactive step would be advantageous to seniors at home, rather than waiting for an unfortunate event to arise.