Most seniors dream of aging in place. Renovating the home can make this easier and safer. It can also provide peace of mind for other relatives who may worry about seniors’ safety when they choose to remain in their homes. These are some important changes to consider.
1. Address the Stairs
Ideally, the senior lives in a one-floor home or a home with a bedroom on the first floor. Otherwise, family members may need to consider installing a lift or creating a first-floor bedroom. Stairs at the front of the home may also need to be addressed. Reducing or eliminating stairs ensures wheelchair accessibility and reduces the likelihood of falls when aging in place.
2. Install More Rails
The biggest concern many family members have about seniors remaining at home alone is the likelihood of a dangerous fall. The more handrails there are around the home, the better the chances of reducing this risk. Consider installing rails anywhere seniors may need assistance sitting or standing, such as by the bed, by a favorite sofa, on the stairs and in the bathroom.
3. Improving Lighting
It’s no secret that seniors see less well as they grow older. Providing better lighting can help to reduce the risks associated with this problem. Here are some strategic places to add sensor lights for seniors who are aging in place:
- Inside closets
- Along corridors
- On staircases
- On the front porch
- In the garage
4. Create a Smart Setup
When seniors can control everything by voice, a tablet or an app on the phone, they reduce the need to move around. This is especially important if mobility is already an issue. Smart homes can allow seniors to provide access to the home, set the thermostat, turn on lights and call for help a lot more easily.
Renovating a home does not eliminate all potential risks seniors may face when aging in place. Even so, it does help to provide a safer environment and may fill them with the confidence to continue to live independently.