More and more seniors have chosen to stay at home for their retirement years, fueled in part by rising healthcare costs, a booming real estate market, and improvements in technology. In the next few years, the aging Baby Boomer generation will begin to retire, and they will want to find ways to accommodate their active lifestyle.
In fact, seniors today and in the future are in a better position to age in place. They’re healthier than previous generations and technological advancements have made independent living a more tenable choice.
Practical reasons aside, some people may want to spend their sunset years in the home they’ve known for decades. It’s where their kids grew up, and memories are a powerful thing. You’ll find that you’ll also enjoy living near your friends and family, instead of being surrounded by strangers in an unfamiliar setting
Of course, there will come a time when you or your loved one will require help to live independently. However, there are things you can do now to make your home safer and more functional, such as air duct cleaning. Small modifications can go a long way in making your home more livable. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Replace the flooring
For people with balance or mobility issues, some types of flooring can pose a dangerous hazard. Slippery and glossy surfaces such as tile, marble, and hardwood can cause slips, a real danger for many seniors. To make their home safer, consider replacing the flooring.
The most popular carpeting option for seniors is carpeting. It’s soft, comfortable, and helps insulate sound. If someone were to fall, the material should provide some support and protection. However, you need to make sure to get low-pile carpeting as taller fibers can also cause tripping.
Your next best bets are vinyl and linoleum. They’re durable, easy to clean, and resistant to water damage. People in wheelchairs will find the smooth surface suited for navigation.
Buy a shower bench
Any place that’s wet and slippery is a danger to anyone, especially seniors. One wrong move could land you in the hospital, and being cautious simply won’t cut it. You need to be proactive when it comes to bathroom safety. One way to make your bathroom safer is to get a shower chair or bench.
A shower chair or bench gives you the support you need to shower without outside help. You don’t have to force yourself to remain standing in the stall, which can increase your risk of slipping. You simply have to sit down under the showerhead as you clean yourself. Best of all, many medical-grade chairs can support people of all sizes.
Unsecured rugs are a constant danger for seniors and people with impaired mobility. They are one of the main culprits behind slips and falls, which is why you may need to remove all unsecured rugs and carpets from your home.
If you can’t bear to part with some of your rugs, there are ways to get around the slipping problem. One solution is to secure them with grip tape or non-grip pads. They’re often used by interior decorators to prevent edges from curling and to keep them in place with minimal movement.
Invest in a walk-in tub
Another upgrade that will transform the way you use your bathroom is the walk-in tub. You can switch out your old tub for one that will give you the safety and convenience you need to bathe comfortably and without interruption.
A walk-in tub is a tub that’s been fitted with extra features designed to make your bathing experience safer and more pleasurable. Standard features include non-slip flooring and safety grab bars. More premium options may also have whirlpool jets and heated backrests for a more luxurious experience.
Automate your systems
Automation technology has made our homes more convenient for everyone, especially seniors. For instance, you can switch out your regular light bulbs with smart ones that can be programmed to automatically turn on and off, depending on the time. Some even have a motion-sensing feature so that you never have to reach for the switch ever again.
A final word
These are just some ways to make your home safer and functional for you or your loved one. Aging at home has never been easier, thanks to home upgrades and new technology you can adopt. While safety should always be our top priority, we’re also allowed to consider upgrades that make our life easier.