There's No Place Like Home: 6 Aging-In-Place Home Modifications For The Elderly
The growth rate of the elderly population in the U.S. will more than double from 1.3 to 2.8 percent by 2030, according to the Census Bureau. While some seniors end up needing to go to assisted living facilities for regular care, there's a growing trend to make it easier for the elderly to stay put in their own homes for the sake of comfort, continued independence and a sense of familiarity. This trend, called aging in place, involves making home modifications to make living spaces safer for seniors.
Falling is among the most common dangers the elderly face when living at home. In fact, one in three seniors aged 65 and up fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most aging-in-place modifications focus on preventing seniors from falling and suffering hip fractures, head injuries or other serious injuries.
These lifts, also called stair glides, offer a convenient way for seniors to get up and down stairs. Chair lifts are ideal for those who live in a two-story home with a bedroom on the upper level. If mobility is a serious problem, though, having a bedroom set up or added onto the home's first floor is a better solution.
Grab bars provide the elderly with more support when sitting down or standing up. These bars are usually installed near toilets and in showers to help reduce the risk of falling or slipping. Homeowners can also install grab bars in hallways, especially longer ones where seniors might need additional support.
Walk-in tubs offer a safer alternative to regular tubs. Seniors don't have to worry about maintaining their balance while stepping over the tub's edge to get in and out. Instead, they just have to open a door to get in, fill the tub with water and let it drain before opening the door to get out again after their bath.
Seniors who need to move around in a wheelchair or use a walker benefit from having wider doorways in their home. Widened doorways make it possible for them to move from one room to another with ease.
Lever Door Handles
Some seniors have trouble opening regular doorknobs due to arthritis or other conditions that cause them to have a weakened grip. Replacing these doorknobs with lever door handles makes it easier for them to open doors throughout the home.
Modifying at least one entryway into the home to make it a no-step one gives seniors a safe way to get in and out. If this kind of design isn't possible due to flooding concerns or other issues, having an entryway with a low step is an alternative solution.
To learn more, contact a company like Twin City Stair Lifts.