Preparing Your Home for Aging in Place
The home care providers at Avila Home Care outline several steps you can take to ensure that your home is a safe and supportive environment for you as you age.
According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies, there are five key features that make the homes of seniors aging in place comfortable and safe environments. Ensuring that your home has all of these features, or updating your home so that it is in compliance, will ensure that you feel as happy and healthy as possible.
Easy entry. Many homes have one or several steps leading to the front door. There are several ways that you can alter your entryway to make it more accessible, including installing a ramp that fits atop the entryway steps. Ramps can be removable or permanent, and can be made of metal, wood or cement, depending on homeowner preference and price range.
Stair no more. If you are planning to remain in your own home as you age, you will need to assess whether or not your home will be fully navigable as your mobility decreases. If you own a single-floor home, begin identifying narrow walkways and paths that may need to be expanded for wheelchair access. If you currently reside in a home that has interior stairs or multiple levels, you may want to consider either installing a motorized stair lift or an elevator. If you are considering relocating, it may be in your best interest to invest in a single-floor home.
Power (check-)up. Access to electricity is essential to safe aging in your own home. Walk through your home and make note of power outlets and light switches that are lower than your hips or higher than your shoulders. Although you may not have trouble accessing these electrical components now, they will likely pose challenges in the future. In many cases, having outlets moved to a more accessible point on the wall is a fairly simple task for a home repair company or building contractor.
Helping handles. Objects that require twisting actions such as door handles and sink faucet taps will become more difficult to operate as you age. Replace these with lever-based handles in order to make daily tasks easier.
There are many resources available that can assist you in determining whether your home is sufficiently prepared for you to age in place. These resources also provide solutions for retrofitting your existing home to fit your future needs.
For more information on maintaining a healthy and happy life while aging in place, contact the home care providers at Avila Home Care today.
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