Aging in PlaceTips to Help you Prepare
As defined by the CDC, “Aging in place” is the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.
Renovate or Move Your Bathroom
Create a first-floor bathroom, if possible, add a step-in shower or tub, place grab bars in the shower and by the toilet, place seats/stools and non-slip flooring in the shower, consider installing a taller toilet, and make sure you have working night lights.
Update Your Bedroom
No first-floor bedroom? Consider installing a stairlift. Ensure all furniture is secured from tipping over, move cables/cords away from walking paths, install easy-to-use light switches or touchless lamps, and make sure you have working night lights.
Create an Open/Safe Layout in Your Living Areas
Avoid using area rugs, which are a tripping hazard, keep clear, wide paths to walk around furniture, replace furniture with pieces that are easier to get up and down from, ensure light switches are close to all entrances/exits of the rooms.
Keep a Safe Kitchen
Replace flooring with a non-glare, non-slick surface and avoid using rugs – consider vinyl, wood, or linoleum. Install easy-to-use light switches or automatic switches that turn on when you enter the room, get rid of door transitions (mini speed bumps!), and replace door handles with an easy-to-grab handle, such as a lever.
Enhance Entryway Accessibility
Install handrails on both sides of steps, ensure steps are at least 3 feet wide and use a non-slip tread on them, add a wheelchair ramp with handrails, if possible, and ensure you have proper lighting at your entryway (motion activated can help prevent falls).
No matter which room you are in, clutter presents fall hazards. Ensure the floors are free from clutter, as well as surfaces where something could fall in your path. Cluttered floors can also cause fires and block your exit pathway if there is a fire.
National Institute of Health – National Institute on Aging – Learn More
AgingInPlace – Learn More
Long-Term Care Insurance – Learn More