Being an elderly person brings about many advantages and disadvantages; one of the main advantages is having enough free time to do and enjoy many activities you’ve always wanted to while one of the biggest disadvantages is having to make some restrictive modifications to the previously lived lifestyle and not being able to do everything in the way you could do in the past. However, due to many changes that the modern era and development of technology brings, the elderly have the possibility to age in place with a few modifications done to their home. If you prefer aging in place over aging in an assisted living community, keep on reading about the must-have home modifications for seniors aging in place.
1. Install Ramps Inside and Outside the House
Climbing stairs or steps both inside and outside the house can be very dangerous for seniors. Installing ramps on the entryways provides more independence for home residents. This works well for seniors who are disabled, in a wheelchair, unsteady on their feet, or have problems with their balance. Installing ramps inside the home over thresholds provide an easier transition from room to room and they are a necessity for seniors using wheelchairs. There are also some mobile ramp solutions available on the market nowadays. When considering these ramps, it is best to assess your specific, personal needs and act accordingly.
2. Widen Doorways for Easier Access
Widening doorways is a home modification that needs to be done when the senior has some difficulties while walking and hence uses a wheelchair or a walker. Depending on your home and its layout, the electricity and outlets, a few things need to be done when removing the old, narrow door and installing a new, wider one. There might be a need for moving the light switch or the outlets while cutting out the wall and the studs, painting, and finishing flooring is something that is required in order to complete the task.
3. Consider Setting up a Bidet
As the bathroom is one of the rooms in our homes where many aging people and people with disabilities require assistance, there are some things to consider in order to provide seniors with independence and comfort. One of the things that are sure to make the life of seniors easier is installing a multifunctional bidet. A bidet seat is there to help a senior clean themselves after using the toilet, as for some of them, this is something highly demanding and maybe impossible to do. Having a bidet in your bathroom saves energy and time, and it is also useful in preventing infections and different kinds of illnesses. It is an investment that definitely pays off.
4. Make Necessary Adjustments to the Bathtub
Another necessary modification as far as the bathroom is concerned, refers to the bathtub. One of the most popular options is definitely a walk-in shower or a walk-in tub, depending on your preferences and capabilities or disabilities. It is a much suitable option as it is both safer and easier to use. These are some of the safest but pricy modifications – so if you can’t afford it, there are some other, more affordable alternatives for making the necessary changes. For example, you can install safety bars or safety strips to ensure a fall-free and slip-free bath/shower. Another example is purchasing a bathtub transfer bench, which can provide ease when entering the tub.
5. Think About the Flooring
Flooring is a large investment, that’s for sure. In order to help seniors navigate their homes, especially those using a wheelchair or a walker, it needs to be quite specific. If your home is fully carpeted, make sure to replace the carpeting if it’s torn and worn out – it will prevent potential trips over them, which can be dangerous for the elderly. Floorings that include vinyl, tile, laminate, and hardwood are easier to maneuver with a wheelchair, so have that in mind. The main feature that distinguishes these from carpeting is that they are more slippery.
If the elderly want to spend their days of retirement enjoying their homes where they have spent their lives bringing up their family, they should follow the tips and make necessary modifications in order to ensure a safe and healthy life.
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