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Quick Guide to Aging in Place
Aging in Place: Essential Home Modifications for the Elderly to Maintain Independence
As people grow older, maintaining independence and living comfortably in their own homes becomes increasingly important. Aging in place, the concept of staying in one's home rather than moving to an aged care facility, offers numerous benefits for seniors, including familiarity, emotional well-being, and a sense of autonomy. To make this a reality, certain house modifications are necessary to ensure safety, accessibility, and convenience. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best measures for seniors to take in regards to house modifications, empowering them to continue living independently and happily in their own homes.
1. Improve Accessibility
Enhancing accessibility within the home is crucial for seniors with mobility challenges. Consider the following mobility access modifications:
a) Install Hand Rails: Adding hand rails for elderly occupants in bathrooms, near toilets, and in the shower or bathtub can provide stability and support, reducing the risk of falls.
b) Ramps and Stair Lifts: If there are steps or uneven surfaces in the home, installing ramps or stair lifts can facilitate safe movement throughout the house. Threshold ramps can be used when transitioning between rooms or moving from one type of flooring to another, seamlessly blending functionality with aesthetics, promoting easy navigation and enhancing the overall accessibility of indoor spaces for all.
c) Widening Doorways: Integrating a cavity sliding door when widening doorways can offer numerous benefits, enhancing the accessibility and functionality of spaces for individuals using mobility aids such as walkers and wheelchairs, or other mobility aids, allowing for easier navigation between rooms.
d) Lever-Style Handles: Replace doorknobs with lever-style handles that are easier to operate for individuals with limited dexterity or strength.
2. Enhance Bathroom Safety
Bathrooms can be particularly hazardous areas for seniors. Implementing these bathroom modifications for elderly occupants can significantly reduce the risk of accidents:
a) Bathtubs or Walk-in Shower Modifications for Elderly Access: Replacing traditional tubs with walk-in showers or bathtubs eliminates the need to step over high barriers, or alternatively using shower base inserts with textured, non-slip surfaces provide stability and reduces the potential for accidents. The installation of shower rails for elderly occupants will assist in providing accessible support whilst showering.
b) Non-Slip Flooring: Installing non-slip flooring, such as textured tiles or non-slip mats, can enhance traction and prevent falls in wet areas.
c) Raised Toilet Seats: Elevating the height of the toilet seat along with installing toilet handrails for stability can make it easier for seniors to sit down and stand up independently.
3. Create a Safe and Accessible Bedroom
A comfortable and safe bedroom is essential for seniors to enjoy a good night's sleep and navigate their personal space:
a) Adjustable Beds: Investing in adjustable beds allows seniors to find the most comfortable position for sleeping, reading, or watching TV.
b) Adequate Lighting: Ensure that bedrooms are well-lit, with easily accessible light switches, nightlights, and lamps within reach of the bed.
c) Clear Pathways: Arrange furniture to create clear and wide pathways, reducing the risk of tripping or stumbling during nighttime movements.
4. Kitchen Modifications
Making the kitchen senior-friendly promotes independence and encourages healthy eating habits:
a) Lowered Countertops: Installing countertops at a lower height allows seniors in wheelchairs or with limited mobility to prepare meals more easily.
b) Pull-Out Shelves: Swapping traditional cabinets for pull-out shelves or drawers ensures that items are within reach without the need for excessive bending or stretching.
c) Easy-to-Use Appliances: Opt for appliances with user-friendly controls, such as large, easy-to-read buttons and dials and for kitchen aids for disability, appliances like side opening ovens are more practical for use with a wheelchair so the door is not between the occupant’s wheelchair and the oven itself.
5. Smart Home Technology
Embracing smart home technology can further enhance safety and convenience for seniors:
a) Voice-Activated Devices: Using voice-activated devices like smart speakers or virtual assistants enables seniors to control various aspects of their homes, such as lights, thermostats, or even a smart home security system, without physical exertion.
b) Automated Lighting: Installing motion sensor lights or smart bulbs that can be programmed to turn on and off at specific times helps prevent accidents and saves energy.
By implementing these house modifications, seniors can continue to live independently in their own homes, enjoying comfort, safety, and a sense of control over their lives. Prioritising accessibility, safety, and convenience through measures like installing grab bars, enhancing bathroom safety, creating a safe bedroom, adapting the kitchen, and incorporating smart home technology ensures a senior-friendly environment that supports aging in place. With the right modifications in place, seniors can enjoy their homes for years to come while maintaining their cherished independence and well-being.
If you or someone you know are interested in making essential house modifications to support aging in place? Don't navigate this process alone. Contact Eximm today and let our team of experts guide you through the planning and implementation of property modifications tailored to your specific needs. CALL: 1300 225 539