As the number of those seeking to age in their own home grows, homes are going to have to meet needs that maybe weren’t anticipated when purchased. With almost two-thirds of falls each year occurring in the home, it’s important to make some changes to enhance the safety of a home. If you or a loved one falls into the group of wanting to age in place, here are some tips to prepare your home.
Out of all the falls that occur for those over 65, 80 percent of them happen in the bathroom. With a few adjustments, you or a loved one doesn’t have to be a part of the 80 percent.
- For additional support add grab bars in the bathtub, shower and by the toilet.
- Install slip resistant mats inside and outside showers and tubs.
- Place products in easy to reach areas.
In 2002, 1.6 million people were treated for serious falls. Most of the time tripping hazards are overlooked but with a few adjustments, these risks can be mitigated.
- Rearrange furniture to make clear paths.
- Remove throw rugs or fasten them to the ground to keep from slipping.
- Make sure objects like shoes, blankets, and toys have places to be put up or stored.
- Wrap cords so they’re not in a walking path.
Stairs can be tricky even for the soundest footed. A few quick and easy repairs can help prevent falls and slips.
- Fix loose steps and handrails
- Add a light above the stairs, with switches at the top and bottom of the stairs.
- If climbing stairs isn’t a possibility, consider a stair lift or residential elevator.
The kitchen can be a dangerous place no matter who’s in it. As we age, our ability to quickly respond diminishes so taking the correct precautions can help reduce the number of incidents in the kitchen.
- Move things from higher shelves and cabinets to lower shelves, cabinets and countertops.
- Equip appliances with automatic shut-offs and check ventilation is properly working.
- Replace glass dishes with plastic or unbreakable ones.
Sometimes the bedroom can be overlooked when making a home safer. We suggest making the following adjustments.
- Place light features and switches so they’re easy to reach from the bed.
- Add night-lights and keep walkways clear for a maneuverable path to the bed.
The Center for Disease Control says that 30 to 50 percent of falls can be prevented with a few home modifications. Making a few adjustments and running through this checklist can help get on the right path to a safer home. If you’re needing any assistance in the home modification process, contact us today.