If you love your home and plan to live it in through your retirement years, you’ll want to be sure it’s safe for you as you face some of those little challenges aging presents. Assess your home and see if there are any changes you may need to make. Doing so will not only reduce the risk of injury, but it will also give your loved ones peace-of-mind, especially if you live alone.
Here’s what you’ll want to inspect as you consider aging in place:
1. Bathroom handrails. Next to the toilet and tub are top choices to install handrails. Not only are handrails for moments of instability, but they can help you raise and lower yourself more easily. You might also consider converting to a walk-in shower with a seat.
2. Non-slip surfacing. Showers and tubs are much safer if you reduce the chance of slippage. There are non-slip mats and tape than can be applied to the floors to reduce chance of slipping.
3. Stairway railings. Both inside and outside stairways should have sturdy, useful rails (i.e. not just decorative).
4. Ample lighting. Consider adding lighting indoors and outdoors. Decreased visibility is a major contributor to falls. Lighting also adds security by deterring would-be burglars.
5. Sharp edges. Tables, countertops, and other areas where sharp edges are likely to be found should be replaced with rounded surfaces.
6. Flat thresholds. Transitions from room-to-room should be as bump-free as possible. You may be used to stepping over the occasional random stair or elevated threshold, but it is a good idea to remove potential hazards.
7. Storage height. If you’ve been used to climbing up and down step ladders to access your storage spaces, look for alternative storage options.
8. Furniture support. Is your couch too low? Do your chairs have arm rests for support? Are countertops too high? Find the sweet spot where comfort and safety meet.
Home size is often an issue as well, especially if there are upkeep and maintenance issues to consider. Of course, if you’ve decided your current home isn’t the greatest for an age-in-place approach to your golden years, it may be time to consider a change. Give me a call, and I can research options for you.