Senior Proofing Your Home: Top Things People Forget
As we get older our bodies tend to start breaking down and cause all sorts of problems. One thing we don’t think about though is having to “senior-proof” our own home as we get older. We can’t move in the same way we used to and the last thing we need is an extra medical bill because we tripped over something.
As our eyes start to deteriorate and we have to start wearing glasses one of the easiest things we can do to senior proof our home is to add extra lighting. Illuminating areas that we normally walk through often can be great areas to trip because of something we left in the hall. But if we add some extra lighting we might avoid tripping by seeing it an extra ten feet earlier. Plus we need to put those lights on timers because a light isn’t useful if it’s off. So put your lights on timers so you don’t have to go around the house flipping them on and off.
A lot of us have special throw rugs or extra blankets that hang off the couch, but little did you know that these creature comforts are actually major trip hazards. Almost a third of all adults over 65 years and older take a fall that leads them to the hospital each year. The major culprits are these throw rugs and blankets that fall off the couch. It might be time to remove the carpets and blankets from the living room.
Split Level Homes
Homes with a sunken living room off of the main floor were super popular back in the 70s and 80s, but now these home owners are regretting their decision. The two to three steps that it takes to walk down to the living room is an unnecessary risk, and a great opportunity to have a trip to the emergency room. We recommend hiring a contractor and eliminating your sunken floor altogether. At the very least add an extra handrail even if you have one step.
Taking a shower has to be one of the easiest way for anyone one of any age to slip. Your bathroom shower needs a grab bar or two installed. There are lots of different types of grab bars for bathrooms. You should have no problem finding one that matches your bathroom style. Just make sure you follow all the directions that come with your grab bar because you don’t want to slip and reach for that bar only to have it get yanked out of the wall with you.
Scooters and Doorways
If you need to buy a scooter you better make sure you can use it in your house. Some scooters and wheelchairs are 32 inches long, but interior doorways can be as narrow as 24 inches. Make sure you measure all the doorways both inside and outside of your home, because a scooter isn’t worth much if you can’t use it. If need be you can call a contractor to install new door frames. But you’ll also need to check for anything that could impede your movement, especially near your turn radius. The last thing you want to do is to knock over an end table because it’s too close to your scooter while turning down the hall.
All of us are going to get older and there is nothing we can do it about it. But we can make our life easier if we “senior-proof” our homes. So don’t wait around too long because the last thing you want to have happen to you is a surprise fall. Do your homework and follow this list and you’ll get your home ready in no-time flat.