Necessary Home Modifications to
Help You Age in Place
By Mia Ackerson
Aging brings about many difficulties and changes. One of the biggest changes our elderly face is the inability to perform all the actions they could once do. Some elderly people have faced certain health problems and conditions that have made some usual, everyday activities difficult for them to complete. If this is the case with you, and you have trouble with being completely independent, there are some things you can do to make your life easier and safer. This is, of course, true if you prefer to age in place rather than to go to an assisted home living facility. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. If you don’t know much about this topic, read more about some reasons why assisted homes are a good option. Also, take a look at some health and safety tips for seniors living alone.
1. Consider installing ramps where needed
When speaking about some basic, must-have modifications for the elderly in place, we must start from ramps. This is an important feature as many seniors have trouble when it comes to climbing stairs. This is so due to many reasons. These include certain physical inabilities and also preventative reasons as many elderly people are not so steady on their feet. So, ramps both inside and outside the home help them move around their home more easily and safely. They are an absolute necessity for seniors who use a wheelchair and without them, they can’t live independently. There are many options when it comes to types and sizes of ramps. There are even mobile alternatives which you can move around whenever necessary.
2. Think about setting up a bidet
The bathroom tends to be a room that can be quite dangerous for the elderly. It is so because it is usually cramped and slippery. The elderly, especially those with some disabilities require a lot of assistance in the bathroom in every sense. Fortunately, there are some ways we can modify the bathroom to be safer and to provide a certain level of independence to our aging loved ones. First of all, the elderly need help when going to the bathroom. To prevent falls and injuries you can install some grab bars next to the toilet to help them use it safely. Next, you can search for bidets online, order one and set it up in the bathroom. There are different types available, so choose the one that suits you the best.
3. Make necessary changes to the bathtub
While speaking about bathroom modifications, you also need to think about making necessary changes to the bathtub. This includes considering switching to a walk-in bathtub or a walk-in shower. This will highly depend on your current health condition and physical abilities. Besides these large investments and complete modifications, there are some other plausible options. These would be installing safety bars wherever needed to assure a safe bath or a shower. Also, consider a bathtub transfer bench – its purpose is to assure a safe transition to the tub.
4. Modify your flooring if necessary
The type of flooring in your home can also be dangerous for elderly people. If it’s not right, it can pose a threat as seniors can trip or fall over it and injure themselves. Even though it is a substantial investment, it is something you should consider seriously. It is particularly important for the elderly who use a wheelchair or a walker to get around. So, what exactly can you do? If you have wall-to-wall carpet in your home, replace it if it’s torn or worn out in some places. Floors that are the easiest to navigate with a wheelchair are hardwood, vinyl, tile, and laminate. It is imperative to use professional floor installers for this project, so they can guarantee the flooring is even and safe to walk on. If you use a wheelchair or a walker, then perhaps some of the previously mentioned types make the best option, and keep older adults safe.
We conclude that if you are an elderly person who prefers to age in his or her own home independently, you need to examine your home carefully and make the necessary changes to ensure healthy and safe aging. As they keep your health, they are investments well worth the while.
Mia Ackerson is a Melbourne-based writer. Loves writing about home decorations and home improvements. She’s also interested in reading books, movies, music, baking, and gardening. You can follow her on Twitter.