Aging In Place” with Grace – Part 1
Many seniors would love to continue to live in their own home as they age… until the very end. Rather than going to a retirement facility, if the thought of being able to stay in your home as you age is appealing to you, then keep reading. If you or your loved one is one of these folks, then Aging In Place is the phrase used for this practice.
While heart disease, cancer, and stroke (followed by chronic lower respiratory diseases) are the main causes of death in adults 65 and above, accidents are also listed as a leading cause of death. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) lists falls first among accidents (followed by car crashes, suffocation, and burns.) Falls are usually the result of simple hazards such as throw rugs, stairs without railings, and obstructed pathways. Today we will explore general conditions and how to remedy them.
Throughout the home
- Eliminate throw rugs completely
- Convert the home to an open floor plan, thereby eliminating maneuvering difficulties when moving from room to room, and adding natural light to spaces within the home.
- Replace hard flooring surfaces such as porcelain or ceramic tile (which can be really slippery) as well as rugs with wood or luxury vinyl flooring with some “tooth” to make the space more user-friendly.
- Widen doorways and hallways, as most residential doorways aren’t wide enough to accommodate a wheel chair or walker.
- Eliminate thresholds whenever it’s possible by maintaining the same flooring throughout, and eliminating steps whenever possible.
- Add lighting wherever possible. As we age, we need more light, particularly in the kitchen, but throughout the home.
- For those with any kind of visual impairment (including cataracts, bi-focal and tri-focal eye glasses) trim out doorframes in a contrasting color. Paint or trim the edge of steps in a contrasting product/color. Consider trimming the edge of a countertop in a differing color/product.
- For those with balance issues, consider moving outlets and light switches) to a more comfortable height, so that people don’t have to bend over or reach to achieve their goals.
While it can be difficult to start any discussion about aging, it’s important that we all plan ahead so that we’re prepared for the future. If you’re saying, “I’m never going to need a wheel chair/walker,” think again. It could happen, (that’s why they call them accidents) and you would be better off if you are prepared. On July 31, in Part II, we’ll spend time talking about
specifics of each area of your home, such as the kitchen, bedroom and bath. Some changes are an investment, and some are as simple as removing something like throw rugs! Need help? Contact us through this website. Whether you’re reading this for your senior family members or yourself, they are all definitely worth your consideration.