How to Make Your Charlotte Home Safe and Accessible for Aging in Place
Today, more and more seniors are doing what they can to remain in their homes for as long as possible. AARP reports that three in four older adults want to age in place! But many seniors don’t think this will be possible for them. From declining health to the threat of isolation, seniors who want to age in place face many barriers. Fortunately, certain modifications and lifestyle changes can help you enjoy a safe and accessible life in the place you call home.
Be Prepared with an Alternative Plan
While modifications can help you stay safe in your home, the future may bring some insurmountable challenges. Certain physical or mental health changes may indicate that a move into an assisted living facility would be beneficial. Research facilities now so you’re prepared for this possibility. Assisted living facilities are designed to help seniors with their daily tasks of living without stripping away their independence, so they’re a great option for seniors who just need a little extra help throughout the day. According to A Place for Mom, when you begin searching for an assisted living facility, you should ask yourself some important questions. How much care do they require? How do I go about choosing a good community? What’s the typical cost of assisted living?
Prevent Falls with Home Modifications
When you’re ready to begin making home modifications, start with the things that will keep you safe. A fall can cause serious injuries that may have lasting effects on your ability to live independently. The National Council on Aging recommends assessing your home for fall hazards, paying particular attention to lighting and clutter.
You can tackle many fall-prevention modifications on your own, such as removing area rugs and clutter from the floor, adding lamps to dark corners, and installing grab bars in your bathroom. It’s best to hire a professional to add overhead lights to staircases, install non-slip flooring, and repair damage to outdoor pathways.
Other common household accidents can be avoided through some simple modifications. To prevent fires and burns, install anti-scald devices on taps and safety shut-off mechanisms on your stove. In-hood extinguishers can control fires if they do occur. Hire a professional to make these changes for you, as they involve plumbing and electrical work.
Make Life Easier with Accessibility Upgrades
Other modifications will make your home more accessible so you can enjoy the things that matter. Consider talking to an occupational therapist before making upgrades. These professionals can offer advice on the best modifications for your needs and recommend assistive devices to help you do the things you want.
Since stairs can become a problem for people with mobility problems, install a ramp at your front entrance. Widening the front doorway can also make it easier to maneuver in a walker or wheelchair. Alternatively, you can install offset hinges on your existing doors. Replace any doorknobs with lever-style handles for better grip.
In the kitchen, consider having your counters lowered. Install slide-out drawers in your bottom cupboards so you can access your cookware easily. If you have deep corner cupboards, install a Lazy Susan cabinet organizer so you can grab ingredients without overreaching. Under-cabinet lighting can also enhance visibility in high-use areas of your kitchen.
Consider Preventive Lifestyle Changes
Certain lifestyle changes can further help reduce your risk of falls. For example, strength and balance exercises can help you stay upright if you trip or slip. Similarly, flexibility training can lower the chance that you sustain an injury if you do happen to fall. Engaging in regular exercise is important for preventing fatigue and lightheadedness that may cause a fall.
Nutrition also plays a crucial role in fall prevention. A diet high in protein is important for combating age-related muscle and bone loss that can make you more susceptible to injury. It’s also important to consume a variety of whole foods so you can get the vitamins and minerals your brain needs to stay energized and alert.
There is a lot that seniors and their loved ones can do to facilitate aging in place. While you may not need all of these modifications right now, don’t wait for a crisis to occur. Being prepared with the right home upgrades and a healthy lifestyle will help you avoid illness and injury, so you can spend your senior years how you want.
How to Make Your Charlotte Home Safe and Accessible for Aging in Place - Contributing editor, Eugene Williams – DIYdad.info
For senior assistance in the Charlotte area, let’s talk. Call or text (704) 491-3310 or email me at SavvyBroker@me.com