The 3 Keys To Preparing A Home To Be Able To Age In Place

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As people age, life can get a bit complicated. Health issues pop up and mobility becomes an issue. Getting ready for these changes is very important if you plan to age in place and continue living on your own. You’ll need to not only get some homecare providers such as Visiting Angels Kennewick, but you’ll need to make some changes to your house. 

These changes will make it so your home remains a safe, comfortable, and accessible place to live. This is especially important since it could be your house that keeps you from aging gracefully because it wasn’t designed for senior living. In this article, we will go over many of the common modifications for your house to accommodate your changing needs. 

1 – Bathroom modifications

One of the rooms we use the most, the bathroom, is one of the most dangerous for a senior with mobility issues. It is a fall waiting to happen. Usually, when a senior falls, other health problems arise and put a damper on their ability to continue living at home. For example, traditional bathtubs can be difficult to step in and out of, and they become particularly slippery when wet.

Start by replacing the shower and tub for a walk in shower. Walk-in showers remove the need to step over a high edge. They can also be equipped with built-in benches or chairs for added safety and comfort. Grab bars are another important addition. 

2 – Bedroom modifications

A lot of time is also spent in the bedroom so focus some attention there. If the bedroom is on the second floor and getting up and down is not an option, consider renovating the ground floor and adding a bedroom there. 

Another aspect to look at is the design and organization of the bedroom’s storage spaces. Closets should be easy to reach without the need for step stools or ladders. Make sure to have shelves that are low enough to reach easily. 

The bed should also be replaced with a hospital bed that is adjustable. This way, you can be in an almost sitting position when getting out. When you only have to swing your legs over the side to stand up, you reduce the risk of falling. 

3 – Outside the house

Getting in and out of the house poses some problems. Walkways and driveways can be problematic because there are almost always obstacles to deal with. Make sure they are level, without any cracks, and there are no curbs to have to navigate. 

Having a ramp is also essential. Those with wheelchairs can’t do without a ramp to allow them to get into the house. Even if you don’t use a wheelchair, not having to deal with steps is a bonus so a ramp will reduce the risk of falling. 

You do need to think about how the water drains off the ramp and walkway, however. Make sure the ramp has a surface that is slip resistant even when wet. Walkways need to be well drained. 

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