According to the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), 87% of adults aged 65+ want to stay in their current home and community as they age. However, of the more than 100 million homes in the United States, only 1% are conducive to aging in place.
More likely than not, aging in place will require you to renovate your current living conditions to make them safe, comfortable, and convenient through all stages of the aging process. Home modifications are a proactive way of ensuring that the level of safety and accessibility in the home are appropriate to the stages of aging. Such modifications also heighten the convenience and comfort available to older adults who choose to age in place.
Install Grab Bars
If you install grab bars in high-risk areas such as the bathroom and bedroom, you provide the necessary support needed by those with mobility issues. Grab bars also prevent slip and fall injuries, especially in the bathroom, which has many slippery surfaces. For extra safety, install bars near the bed, as well, so that people can get in and out of bed safely.
Update Your Flooring
Flooring can cause trip-and-fall accidents. Make sure that it is safe to walk on by either replacing it with non-slip flooring or by applying anti-slip coating with a paint roller. If you have a carpet, make sure that it is attached securely and is no more than half an inch thick.
Get a Residential Elevator
Get a home elevator in Utah and elsewhere so that you can go up and down easily, without having to struggle with using the stairs. Like stair lifts and platform lifts, home elevators are perfect for contemporary homes; not only do they make mobility easy for seniors, they also add to the worth of the home. Additionally, a lot of home elevators are quiet, easy to use, convenient, and provide a ride that is smooth and comfortable. With a home elevator, seniors no longer have to worry about accidentally slipping and falling down the stairs.
Replace Your Faucets and Doorknobs
As people age, they may develop arthritis or other grip issues. Replace round doorknobs and twist faucet handles with lever-style doorknobs and faucets. You can even install touchless faucets if you want a more high-tech option. These low-cost solutions ensure that seniors do not struggle with gripping a doorknob or a faucet handle at home.
Stairs are a challenge for seniors, especially those with balance issues. Installing ramps eliminates the need for navigating steps and providing greater independence. You can also install threshold ramps, which are like mini indoor ramps that offer a smooth transition from one surface to the next. Often made of rubber, threshold ramps make it safer to navigate the house.
If you rely on mobility aids such as wheelchairs or walkers, widening doorways is a must to facilitate easy navigation throughout the house. The recommended width to allow a wheelchair through without hassle is 32 to 36 inches.
Making home improvements means that seniors can securely and independently age in place while their loved ones have peace of mind, knowing that their aging family members are safe and comfortable. By making these modifications, you make your home more conducive to aging in place.