There are numerous changes to be made for seniors to be able to live a safe and independent life in their homes. These changes are supposed to make their homes safer and more functional. These changes will allow them to stay independent and save a lot of money on assisted living costs.
However, if you chose this option for you or someone you love, you have to make sure you’re hiring experienced designers and professionals like Handyman Connection. It takes a lot of effort to accommodate seniors with specific needs which any experienced handyman must take into account. With the help of these professionals, we’ve created a guide on how to make your home ready for aging in place so you can feel at ease.
Senior citizens are the fastest-growing population in the US, according to the latest census results. The senior population is growing 15.1% to 9.7% faster than the general population, which means that by 2060 the senior population in the US is expected to reach 98 million.
With this in mind, the fact that more and more senior citizens are opting in for aging in place does not come as a surprise. The increasing costs of long-term care as well as the recent developments with the COVID-19 pandemic are convincing senior citizens to stay at their homes.
And with the technology evolving at the rate it is, aging in place has never been easier. Seniors are able to have meals delivered to their home, have a video call with their family members and have wearable devices that can let their closest family know if something is wrong with their health.
Make sure to implement mechanisms that seniors can easily use such as door levers over knobs. Use rocker-panel light switches instead of toggle switches.
Latest developments in technology can make it even easier to operate some systems in the home. You can easily control the HVAC thermostat, lights, Sony TV, and even door locks with the smartphone today. However, make sure your senior loved one is comfortable and able to use this technology. There is a risk of the technology malfunctioning as well. The icons on the phone may be too small for seniors with impaired vision to see or their phone could freeze.
To reduce the amount of glare and shadows in the home you should choose indirect lighting with led fixtures, so they don’t have to be changed as often. Shadows and glares are trip hazards which is why removing them makes the home safer.
Make sure to use smooth and soft surfaces such as rubber, linoleum, or cork. They are easier on the joints and present a lower trip hazard.
Make sure the flooring is leveled and smooth as much as possible. If you cannot avoid a level change, try to use different materials, colors, or textures to signal the change. Avoid using strong patterns as they can alter the depth perception and pose a trip hazard.
By far the most hazardous area of any home is the bathroom. Aging in place modifications should allow seniors to shower or take a bath independently.
As such, walk-in showers and tubs are by far the best choice for a home like this. You should also consider incorporating a seat into the shower. If you are renovating an already existing tub, use different tiles for the floor and the bathtub to signify the change between the floor and the wall.
If you are using a shower and bathtub combo, go for a curtain rather than a shower door. Add stronger towel bars and grab bars that can support the weight of the senior. Place them so that they allow more mobility throughout the bathroom.
Finally, use thermostatic shower control and devices that prevent scalding to protect against any injuries within the shower. The maximum temperature of the water should not exceed 120 degrees.