Saturday, January 20, 2018

Aging in Place: Is the Family Home Safe?

October 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog

Home with fence, John Silva, The Fix-It ProfessionalsThese days it makes financial sense for seniors to stay in their homes as long as possible. With the cost of assisted care skyrocketing (as much as $70,000 per year in metropolitan areas) staying in the family home allows seniors to stay where they are comfortable and familiar, while keeping financial worries at bay for as long as possible. But is it safe to age in place in the family home? Here are some tips for “seniorizing” home sweet home. 

1. Basic Safety
Some family homes were built years ago when building codes were not as strict.

Make sure that the family home has a carbon monoxide detector and at least working smoke detector. Even if these devices are powered by electricity, be sure that the batteries are fresh.

In the event of an emergency, be sure there is a safe escape route. Make sure that floors are clear of clutter and that everyone who lives in the house has a plan for what to do if the smoke detector goes off. 

2. How’s that reach? Stool, John Silva, The Fix-It Professionals
As we age, things like getting on a ladder to retrieve 
an item or reaching behind the couch to turn lights off and on becomes more difficult. Make sure that frequently used items, like pots and pans in the kitchen, or linens in the bedroom are easy to reach. Add storage that is more accessible or relocate items with safety in mind.

If reaching light switches to turn lights off or on is becoming a challenge, consider putting lights on a timer or adding a “clap on/off” switch.

3. Oh say, can you see?
Be sure entry areas hallways, walk ways, paths etc. are well lit and safe. Check both during the day and at night to see if dimly lit areas pose a safety hazard. Consider removing or lowering thresholds because they may be a tripping hazard.

Also think: If someone comes to the front door, can the person on the threshold be seen without someone opening the door? Peep holes or surveillance cameras can make sure the door is only answered to people who are known.

clutter, John Silva, The Fix-It Professionals

 4. Not a good time for a trip
We’ve all done this. Something sits in your house long enough and soon you don’t even see it anymore. Some things that may not be noticed are: Loose rugs, clutter, or extension cords. Any of these in the wrong location can cause a fall. In addition consider adding night lights to light the way from bedroom to bath or kitchen to prevent a fall.

5. Get a grip
Finally, inspect for areas where it might be helpful to have a place to hold on. Check to be sure any handrails on the stairway are secure. Also consider adding grab handles in the bathroom and being sure that tubs or showers have a no slip mat inside and out. It might also be time to consider a bath bench or shower chair if standing steadily in the shower is a problem.

If you enjoyed these ideas, but you don’t want to “do it yourself,” just give us a call! We love helping seniors! From entry way ramps to grab bars, we’re here to help. Read on for our “October Seniorizing Special 

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