In survey after survey, senior citizens say the same thing: they want to spend their remaining years at home instead of a nursing home or assisted living center.
However, remaining at home isn’t always feasible as we get older, at least without some aging in place home modifications.
Here are a few things you can do to make your home – or your parents’ home – a safer, more comfortable place to age in place.
Stair glides, ramps and elevators
The steps in your home represent one of your biggest obstacles to aging in place. If stairs become a challenge, your bedroom and bathroom might suddenly be off limits.
That leaves you with an unpleasant choice: remodel your home so that your bedroom and bathroom are on one floor or live somewhere else.
But with aging in place home modifications such as stair lifts, ramps and home elevators, you have a third option.
Before you install a stair glide – also known as a stair lift – make sure you consider these factors:
- Space – Make sure the stair lift has a seat, arms and footrest that fold back to allow other people to get up and down the steps.
- Safety – The lift should also have basic safety features such as seat belts, foot rests and a sensor that can detect any obstacles in your path.
- The shape of your staircase – Installing a stair lift on a straight staircase is much easier than putting one on a curved staircase with more than one landing. But it is possible to install a stair lift on curved stairs.
If you need a home elevator, make sure you address these questions:
- Do you have enough room for an elevator, which can take up a lot of space?
- Do you need an immediate solution? Construction on a home elevator can take time. If you need something right away, you may want to consider renting a stair glide.
- Do you have health issues beyond getting up and down the steps? If so, aging in place may not be an option for very long, which can make investing in an elevator a bad idea.
Aging in place home modifications don’t stop with the stairs. It’s important to make sure the bathrooms in your home are safe and accessible. These bathroom modifications can include:
- Make sure you have at least one bathroom that’s wheelchair accessible, which means at least a 60-inch turning radius or a 36-inch by 36 inch clear space
- Install grab bars around the tub, shower and toilet, as well as slip-resistant flooring in showers, tubs and the bathroom itself
- Put a fold-down seat inside the shower
- Look for faucets that have easy-to-use hand levers and thermostatic or anti-scald controls
Outside the house
You can make life easier for yourself – or your parents – by making sure the outside of the home doesn’t need as much work.
- Consider a low-maintenance exterior like vinyl or brick, which requires less upkeep.
- Look for plants and shrubs which require less maintenance. You’ll save on landscaping costs and won’t have any hazards in the yard.
- Make sure your deck/patio is no less than half an inch lower than your indoor floor levels to prevent trip hazards.
- Installing ramps and railings can make it easier to get up stairs or avoid them altogether.
Are you ready to install a stair glide? Looking for ways to make your bathroom safer or your front steps more accessible?
Marx Medical Equipment can help with all of these things. Contact us today to learn how we can transform your home into a safer, more comfortable place.