Many of the houses in America were not designed to maximize safety and comfort for seniors. Home improvement in these areas can help seniors comfortably age in their own homes with minimal assistance. 90% of seniors in America say they would prefer to retire and age in their homes. Most housing is not designed to accommodate the physical challenges presented by aging. Many stairways are designed in steep spaces accompanied by narrow hallways. Sometimes homes have structural barriers that prevent movement devices from being helpful. Home improvement modifications should focus on problem areas in the home. Not sure where to start? Consider some of these ideas first.
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Smart Home Products
Most smart home technology is designed with the general populace in mind, but some focus on offering solutions for aging in place. Some companies offer sensors that can be attached to the bed, fridge, or medicine cabinet to detect activity or a lack of activity.These devices can report to family members and caretakers to make sure seniors are following their typical daily routine. It can help spot abnormalities that may be caused by a decline in cognitive function, which can be tricky to spot traditionally.
Fall Proof Modifications
According to a report from the National Institute on Aging, six out of every ten falls happen while home. There are a few modifications that can reduce the chances of falls happening. Handrails should be installed on both sides of the stairway to prevent falls. Entryway modifications to level out height differences can also reduce falls. Any house that has front steps should have handrails added to both sides.Throw rugs and runners should be eliminated as they present a fall hazard. Floor coverings that are slip-resistant and durable for wheelchair and walker use should be the main focus for fall prevention. If the budget allows, stair lifts or an elevator may be an option as well.
New residential elevators are also an option for multi-story homes where stairs have become troublesome. Residential elevators come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be custom-installed in many configurations.
Narrow doorways can also be a contributing factor to falls for people with limited mobility. A great way to decrease the odds for an accident would be to ensure doorways are at least 36″ wide to accommodate walking assistance.Doorknobs can also be replaced with lever-type handles to make them easier to open.
Another area that most seniors struggle with is their bathrooms. A tub can be replaced with a walk-in shower to make self-care easier. Sturdy grab bars should be added at the entrance, inside, and by the toilet.Making the toilet taller will also help seniors get up and down. A bidet can also help improve their hygiene if this care is becoming hard for them to handle by themselves.Walk-in tubs are also an option if your senior would still prefer to take a bath over a shower. A fold-down seat in the shower can also help them maintain their balance.