For many seniors, homes have rich history. Memories of children growing, precious family moments and fun times with friends are around every corner.
But fewer folks realize that some changes may need to be made to ensure their homes can continue to be as rewarding for many more years to come. Not to fret, we’re not suggesting you undertake a large remodeling project. Most of the changes that can help keep you safe in your own home are pretty simple and don’t cost a lot of money.
Here we’ll highlight the modifications that are suitable for DIY projects, whether you truly do them yourself or enlist the help of a friend or family member. There are other changes that contractors can assist with, but often these simple ones make a considerable difference.
In the bathroom, you should consider:
- Grab bars in the shower, by the toilet and by the bathtub
- Rubber strips or a non-skid mat in the bathtub
- A hand-held flexible shower head
- An adjustable shower seat
- A phone that’s within reach at all times
- A transfer bench outside the bathtub (for getting in and out easier)
Around the home, be sure to have:
- Lever or easy-to-use push door handles, faucets and light switches
- Nighttime lights in hallways, stairways and frequently used rooms
- Bright lighting in all parts of the house
- Adjustable height closet rods
- Handrails along staircases
There are other tips that relate to having a neat house: Make sure all walkways are clear of clutter. Remove all rugs, or secure them with carpet tape. Wipe up any spills immediately. Outside, make sure there is adequate drainage, preventing slippery surfaces.
Other suggestions apply to all homes, and you’ve undoubtedly heard them many times before. For example, install smoke detectors throughout your home, test them regularly and be sure their batteries are functional.
Making these adjustments to your home will help you (or your parents) continue to live independently and at home. These changes aren’t just for the 65+ plus crowd. Anyone who intends to stay in their home for many years and decades to come should start thinking about accessibility and universal design.
See our full checklist on making your home as safe as it can be: http://assets.aarp.org/external_sites/caregiving/checklists/checklist_homeSafety.html
Already made modifications to your home and ready to help friends, family and neighbors do the same? Check out the Create the Good guide to help you do so: http://www.createthegood.org/toolkit/home-safety-tips-tools