More than ever, seniors are opting to “age in place,” remaining in their homes or the homes of their loved ones during their golden years. This increase in the numbers of older adults living at home is partly due to the range of professional in-home care services available that enables seniors to live on their own or with loved ones rather than in a residential care facility.
While extensive choices of in-home care services open the doors for seniors to age in place, their homes may lack the basic accessibility features necessary to facilitate life at home safely. The good news is that quite a few measures can be taken to make sure your loved one’s space is comfortable and safe for them to continue to thrive.
The following home modifications can instantly improve mobility and accessibility to make aging in place a positive experience for your loved one.
Ramp And Lift Installation
Even if your elderly loved one is currently mobile, the possibility of future need for a wheelchair for mobility should be considered. As we age, our ability to safely maneuver stairs and abrupt elevations begin to wane, leaving us vulnerable to severe injuries from falls.
If your loved one uses a wheelchair or has difficulty gripping objects, consider replacing doorknobs for easier access. Push-pull bars are simple additions that can make accessibility less frustrating, and automatic doors controlled by a remote switch are options for easier accessibility.
Rethink Furniture Arrangement
Most wheelchairs need approximately a five-foot radius to maneuver effectively in the home. Furniture arrangements should allow for this space; consider removing unnecessary furnishings out of the room and rearranging furniture to accommodate the passage of a wheelchair. Also, minimize sharp turns or tight corners that a wheelchair may have to navigate around to ensure safety.
Install Safety Bars
Older people lose muscle mass and dexterity during the aging process. Ensure your loved ones can safely lift themselves in and out of spaces they need to utilize often, such as tubs, showers, and toilets. Ensure that safety bars are appropriately installed and anchored into the wall’s stud to support a person’s body weight adequately.
Aging In Place Requires Careful Attention To Detail
To ensure your loved one is aging in place safely, you must pay careful attention there needs on an ongoing basis. Making initial basic safety modifications to a home is essential for promoting a good quality of life in a safe and accessible space.