Aging in place is about keeping older adults connected to their home and community while also catering to their health and safety needs. While this includes every aspect of a senior’s life, the home is a great place to start. Take a close look at each of the rooms in your home to see if you can incorporate any of these upgrades.
The living room is where most of us spend our time when we’re at home, so it makes sense to invest some time and effort to make it more livable for older adults. Assistive Seating is a good place to start, allowing seniors to transition from sitting to standing without extra effort. If you don’t want to buy a whole new piece of furniture, something as simple as a Stand Assist Handrailcan be incorporated into your existing furniture.
However, when reconsidering the accessibility of your living room and other home spaces, you can go beyond just furniture. Flooring is one commonly overlooked aspect, and many forget that old carper and sliding rugs can make it more difficult for those in wheelchairs to get around. Ideally, laminate tile or hardwood floors are best.
The bathroom can be a tricky place for seniors, as they are often rising from a sitting position, standing on slick surfaces, or stepping over the walls of the tub. Depending on the layout of your bathroom, there are a number of inexpensive tools and modifications that can make it safer and easier to get around in.
One other simple and cost-effective modification is a Stand Assist Toilet Safety frame. This fits around the base of your toilet, allowing older adults to maintain independence as they rise.
In older adults’ bedrooms, comfort is the top priority. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to improve comfort without sacrificing your room’s decor. Maybe the most simple and affordable way is with pillows. They come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s easy to find one that matches your needs. Take a look at these options and see if any of them work in your space:
In addition to pillows, there are more intensive ways to increase comfort and safety in the bedroom. An alternating hospital mattress can help eliminate bedsores and maximize comfort for those who have trouble sleeping. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, an Alternating Pressure Pad can have a similar effect at a reduced cost.
Improving access in the kitchen is all about keeping tools, appliances, and countertops within reach. The most commonly used appliances, like microwaves, should be positioned so that those with mobility challenges can reach them and easily access their control panels. Plates and bowls should be moved from high cabinets to lower ones, where they are close at hand. Seniors in wheelchairs may also benefit from more space and power countertops.
Of course, expensive renovations may not always be possible. One simple way to put smaller objects within reach is a handy Reacher Grabber. While it may not be suited to heavy or fragile items, it can make higher shelves much more accessible.
In addition to the options listed above, there is a range of smart home devices that can be incorporated into any room. Voice-controlled devices like Amazon Echo are a great way for seniors to stay on top of the news, stay in touch with friends, or order groceries without lifting a finger.
For older adults living with a caregiver, finding ways to monitor them at all hours of the day can be important. A Bed Alarm is a simple addition to any bed that can alert caregivers when seniors rise to their feet.
In the end, you don’t have to invest thousands of dollars or completely transform your home to make it better for aging in place. The key is identifying which changes can make the biggest impact in your life and finding the right solution. With so many different tools and tips at your fingertips, it won’t be hard to make any home more friendly to older adults.