Statistics show that nearly 90 percent of seniors wish to age in their own home. But sometimes, the features in their homes are not ideal. Homes are typically built with the younger generation’s needs in mind. Therefore, certain features that most take for granted can pose serious risks to the safety of aging individuals. Home modifications for seniors is something that is important to consider. If you wish to remain in our own home as you age, safety should be the number one priority. While aging in place, change your home from “home sweet home” to “home safe home”.
In this AARP article, caregiver Elinor Ginzler describes ways you can modify the homes of aging loved ones. Regardless of your budget, there are always ways to modify the home to ensure safety. Whether you choose no cost, low cost, or more extensive remodeling, assessing the senior’s needs is the first step.
Modifications don’t necessarily need to be done by professionals. Changes to the home could be as simple as increasing your lighting or adding anti-slip strips to the shower. It all depends on the unique needs of the senior. Even removing throw rugs or tying up electrical cords to reduce fall risk is a great step. In addition, many of these modifications are free and very easy to do. If you feel you need more extensive changes, things like installing ramps, grab bars, and wheelchair accessible showers are options. Yet most home modifications can be done at a low cost.
While this all sounds great in theory, your aging loved one may be resistant to the changes. For example, mom may be upset that the throw rug is being removed because it added color to the room. In this case, offer to get some brightly colored throw pillows for the couch or a nice picture for the wall. Remember to be empathetic and understand their point of view, while keeping in mind what will be best overall.
Modifying homes of aging loved ones can seem overwhelming. It will take planning and may add in some extra costs financially. But if their goal is to age in place, this is the best option for them. Making sure a home becomes