Many seniors wish to remain in their homes for as long as they are able despite the effects of age and illness on ability. Seniors are often hesitant to move into long-term assisted living due to cost concerns as well as a desire to maintain their freedom and dignity.
Living at home during one’s senior years is achievable although modifications to that home will be necessary to assure safety. The following are just a few modifications recommended for those wishing to remain in their home as they age.
Safety bars are a bathroom necessity for those aging in place. Slick wet floors as well as movement from sitting to standing positions create a variety of potential hazards for seniors. Safety bars are placed in tubs and near toilets so the user can grab onto them for stability and support while changing positions.
Safety bars, also called “grab” bars, can be mounted to the floor or wall. There are also versions available which are free standing, such as Health Craft’s Superpole. The type needed will depend on the individual’s weight and physical limitations.
Handicap shower stalls don’t require the users to step over a bathtub ledge and are safer for seniors. A chair can easily be placed in the center so the user can sit while they clean themselves without having to lower their bodies down into the depths of a tub basin. This is not just safer but often more comfortable.
Handicap ramps for home can be placed at the front and back entrances, as well as internally in areas where there are three or four steps between one room and the next. Ramps are not just for seniors who require the use of a wheelchair. They are also useful for those who use walkers or canes for stabilization. Stairs can create tripping hazards especially if they are improperly lit. Ramps eliminate that hazard and are easier to navigate.
Along with mobility issues, vision problems are also a typical problem for seniors. Added lighting should be prioritized in homes where seniors aging in place will be living. Stairways and hallways particularly should be well lit to prevent hazards that could lead to trips and falls. This can be done with more efficient lighting such as the use of LED bulbs in place of incandescents. Please note that all light bulbs should be covered or shaded to prevent glares that can be momentarily blinding.
Night lights should be added to bathrooms, bedrooms, and hallways so that navigating after dark is easier and safer.
Where possible, the covers of light switches should be replaced by ones that glow in the dark and areas near the switch should not be obscured by furniture or other obstacles.
If you are in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island areas, Lift & Care Systems can help you with these and other durable medical equipment needs. If you or a loved one wish to remain in your home during your senior years Lift & Care Systems can help you make that wish a reality. For a free consultation call 508-802-4622.