The number one problem for seniors over the age of 65 that has a significant impact on their ability to maintain their independence is falls. Many falls lead to injuries such as fractures including hip fractures. Not only that, but fall injuries are extremely expensive to treat. One of the best ways to prevent these injuries is to purchase or remodel a home that reduces the risk of falls. Here are some simple aging in place features to look for to reduce the risk of falls:
A good home design for aging in place is ideally a one level home that has everything you need on the ground floor. There should be no steps leading up or down into any areas of the home, such as those you might find in a sunken living room or a step down into a garage.
You should avoid installing carpeting in a home for aging in place, but if you have to have carpet, it should be less than a half-inch pile density and have a firm pad underneath it. A better choice for flooring is smooth flooring that is slip-resistant and non-glare. Needless to say, you shouldn’t have any throw rugs on the floor since they are a tripping hazard. Slip resistant flooring is especially important in the kitchen, bathroom and shower the majority of falls happen in these areas.
Grab bars and rails should be a focus in creating a home for aging in place for seniors. These can provide stability wherever they are needed, and should be in every bathroom, tub and shower stall in the home.
Again, because a lot of falls occur in the bathroom, particular attention should be paid to the design of the bathroom. One good adaptation is to install a roll in shower. This accommodates a wheelchair if necessary and prevents a need for a senior to step into shower which may cause him or her to lose balance and possibly fall.
We here at Lift & Care Systems–based in Lakeville, MA–have been serving Boston, Springfield, New Bedford, and Lawrence, MA as well as the surrounding areas for over 25 years. We also serve the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut. Need more information about us? Complete our online contact form or call us at 508-802-4439 for a free consultation.