Your home may need to change as you age in order to accommodate your needs better. What may have been functional and safe when you were younger may no longer be the case. That’s why modifying your home can help prevent accidents, boost confidence, and provide comfort and convenience in a space you’re familiar with, especially if you want to retain your independence and remain living either independently or in a home you know and love. Below are some changes you can make to your home as you age in order to make it safer and more convenient for you.
Install Grab Bars and Handrails
Installing grab bars and handrails is an important step for those looking to maintain their independence while aging in place. These simple features provide vital aid for mobility within the home, especially for those with limited physical abilities. By having grab bars in the bathroom and handrails on stairwells, individuals can navigate their homes with confidence and ease. Installing these features can also help prevent falls and provide additional support for those who may require assistance. While it may seem like a small addition, the installation of grab bars and handrails can significantly impact daily life, allowing for continued independence and a greater sense of security within the home.
Consider Adding a Stair Lift
As one ages, navigating stairs can not only become a challenge, but incredibly dangerous or even fatal. For individuals with multi-level homes, stairs can become a significant obstacle in their daily lives. Especially if you’re someone who tires easily, or are nervous around your stairs thanks to the possibility or past experience of falling.
However, there is a solution to this problem. One may consider adding a stair lift to their home, which can greatly help with mobility and ease of access. Although stair lifts can be a significant investment when modifying your home, they are worth considering if you want to maintain independence and avoid downsizing to a single-level home. With the convenience and safety a stair lift provides, individuals can maintain their quality of life and stay in their beloved multi-level homes.
Upgrade Your Bathroom
The bathroom can be a dangerous place for anyone young or old. That’s why upgrading your bathroom can significantly impact the safety and comfort of seniors who want to remain independent, especially when cleaning up and taking care of themselves. When considering modifications, a tub to shower conversion provides a safe and easy entry and exit point to the shower area. Adding a raised toilet seat makes it easier for seniors with mobility issues to use the toilet, reducing the risk of falls. Installing nonslip flooring reduces the chance of slips and falls, making the bathroom safer. By taking these steps, you can increase the accessibility and safety of your bathroom, providing peace of mind for both seniors and their caregivers.
Improve the Lighting
As individuals age, their eyesight can weaken, and dimly lit areas in the home can pose a threat to safety. Enhancing your home’s lighting can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. Adding night lights in key areas such as hallways or bathrooms is recommended to ensure safety. Additionally, replacing traditional light switches with illuminated ones can make finding the switch easier in the dark. The installation of brighter light bulbs in all rooms can provide clarity, making it easier to navigate a room. Taking these simple steps to improve lighting can greatly enhance safety within the home.
Rearrange Your Furniture
Lastly, if you find yourself struggling with mobility or concerned about the safety and accessibility of your home, rearranging your furniture may be an essential step. It is important to ensure that all furniture pieces are placed in an ergonomic and streamlined way, allowing for easy movement throughout the home. Consider repositioning key pieces of furniture that may be blocking pathways or creating obstacles. These changes can reduce the risk of falls and make navigating the home more convenient. Additionally, strategically arranging furniture to provide easy access to everyday items, such as telephones, remote controls, and medications, can reduce the need to reach for them and ultimately prevent falls. Overall, taking the time to rearrange your furniture can make a significant difference in improving the safety and accessibility of your home.
Making modifications to your home as you get older can be an overwhelming task. However, the changes will maximize your comfort, reduce the likelihood of accidents, and help you retain independence. You don’t have to make all the changes at once. Take it one step at a time. Begin by implementing these small changes and consult with an occupational therapist if you need a professional’s opinion on the best modifications for you. With these changes, you can continue to live happily and comfortably in your home as you grow older.
Authors Bio: Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. While doing research for this article, she read and learned a lot about tub to shower conversion and the advantages they provide.
Meta Description: Learn about the changes you can make to your home as you get older. Making modifications such as installing grab bars, adding a stairlift, upgrading the bathroom, improving lighting, and rearranging furniture can help increase safety and accessibility. Get helpful tips and advice on how to make these changes.