4 Ways to Make Your Home Safe for Aging in Place
If you plan to spend your golden years living in your current home you’re not alone. According to AARP, nearly 90% of adults 65+ prefer to age in place. Innovations in technology and modern home design have made senior independence more accessible than ever. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in
Aging in Place Tip #1: Start Simple
The quickest, and sometimes most effective, changes you can make to increase home safety are pretty straightforward. Once you start looking for potential hazards, it isn’t difficult to predict what may become an issue down the road. Here are some tips:
- Toss out your throw rugs, as they bunch up easily and present a major tripping hazard.
- Replace your bath mat with a rubber-backed version to ensure that it doesn’t slide around on the slippery bathroom floor.
- Put non-skid treads on the steps
- Apply non-slip wax to the floors and if you have carpeted rooms, be sure to repair any loose or raised areas.
- Pin any unmanageable wiring or electronic cords against the wall using cable clips.
Aging in Place Tip #2: Better Your Bathroom
Many senior citizens have difficulty navigating the bathroom, but there are plenty of great options for increasing accessibility. Also, if you’re worried about throwing off your current bathroom aesthetic, modern solutions can incorporate both function and style. Here are some things you can do to make your bathroom safer and sleeker:
- Convert a conventional bathtubinto a walk-in tub.
- If you don’t already have one, get a detachable spray head for your shower to simplify the bathing process.
- Install grab bars/handrails in the shower and around the toilet so you’ll be able to maneuver those areas more easily.
- If you have trouble lowering/raising yourself from a traditional toilet, a raised-height toilet seat is a solution that will reduce the distance and give you more control.
Aging in Place Tip #3: Stay Cool
Most water heatersare set up at a preset temperature of 130-140°F, a temperature recommended by the American Society of Sanitary Engineeringbecause it’s hot enough to kill harmful bacteria. However, thinning skin can make aging adults more sensitive to water temperature. Here’s the solution:
- Install anti-scald valves (aka tempering valves) that mix cold water into the outgoing hot water so that it’s not hot enough to hurt anyone.
- These valves can be pretty tricky to install, so if you’re not 100% confident, give usa call – we can help!
Aging in Place Tip #4: Structural Modifications
Depending on how it’s configured, you may need to make some modifications to the structure of your home to best prepare to age in place. Here are our suggestions:
- Install zero-threshold (aka flush-threshold) entryways, which are a great way to eliminate the risk of tripping
- Widen halls/doorways and offsett door hinges to make your home walker or wheelchair friendly.
- Swap brighter light bulbs into your light fixtures and add some lamps or small motion-sensing lights to particularly dark areas of your home.
Aging in place modifications are a smart move even when you’re in great health. Being active and independent well into your golden years means planning ahead for any necessary accommodations that may come with future surgical procedures or accidental injuries. Home is where your heart is, and likely where you feel most comfortable. Making your home safer is not only beneficial for your health and longevity, it’s also less expensive than moving into a senior community or assisted living facility.
Maplewood Plumbing has been serving St. Louis residents of all ages for more than 30 years. Our family-owned business prides itself on our solid reputation in the community. Need a hand with remodeling? Give us a call at 314-300-0216 to see for yourself why our loyal customers won’t use anyone else!
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