If you want to age in the home you’ve lived in for decades, it’s time to do some planning. We want to share some common sense tips for creating a safe space. And if remodeling your current home isn’t cost-effective, take a look at an assisted living community designed with your safety in mind!
Take a fresh look at your space.
Ask someone to look at your space with an eye to safety modifications…they may see issues you do not. There are nonprofit organizations who provide advice on home modifications and professional companies who do the same thing. Contractors can also provide a useful perspective.
Live on one floor.
Say no to stairs. Is it really necessary for the washer and dryer to be in the basement? And instead of storing items in the spare bedroom on the second floor, can you find space on the first floor? Or is it time to purge and donate extra items to charity?
Remodel the bathroom.
Bathrooms are the number one place people are injured. That big bathtub is nice but would a walk in shower be more practical? Install grab bars…and do it now before you actually need them. Think about motion sensors so your light comes on automatically and you aren’t stumbling in the dark. And add some extra space around the toilet in case you ever need a caregivers assistance.
Don’t forget the kitchen.
Because kitchens are the second most common place for falls and injuries. How high are your cabinets and your stove? If you were in a wheelchair or had to sit down to cook, could you reach everything? Could you cook without brushing a sleeve over a burner?
Can you remodel so you aren’t stepping up or down to get into your house? Try for a minimum of two exits without steps, just in case there is an emergency and one exit is blocked. Zero steps are better for those with mobility issues and is also better for first responders.
Sidewalks and driveways.
It may be time to find someone else to maintain your sidewalks and driveways during the winter. Ice, snow and cold can be hazardous to your health!
There is technology available that can help you monitor your home and monitor you! Not every solution is expensive, do your research and find out what’s right for you.
Whether you age in your current home or look for a new home, be thoughtful about what you may need and plan accordingly!