If you can believe it, death is not the biggest fear of senior citizens. According to a study commissioned by Clarity® and The EAR Foundation, those in their golden years have a far greater fear of moving into a nursing home and losing their independence. So how can you, or those you love, remain at home even when health and physical abilities decline?
Many baby boomers, those with chronic illnesses, and children of aging parents are using an approach known as Aging in Place. By modifying the existing living environment, Aging in Place makes it possible to compensate for reduced functionality and help people stay in their homes for longer.
In Part 1, we discussed the physical and emotional benefits of Aging in Place, which enabled homeowners to maintain their daily routines in a place where they were already familiar. Here, in Part 2, we’ll look at ways in which Aging in Place can increase the safety and security of living at home.
Living at Home – Longer, More Safely and with Greater Security
Because a greater chance of falls and injuries occurs as we age, there are many features of Aging in Place that are specifically designed to reduce dangerous situations. In addition, Aging in Place can help you maintain your independence and enjoy the comforts of home.
Here are just a few of the modifications that can make your home safer and more secure:
- Main living on a single floor – master bedroom, full bath, etc.
- Open plans and clear floor space for easy maneuvering
- Low-maintenance surfaces for reduced bacteria and germs
- Open cabinetry and storage with generous natural light
- Raised or drawer appliances for easier access
- Sliding doors to reduce obstruction
- Bathrooms with open knee space
- Additional options in toilets: varying heights, flush, design, etc.
- No-threshold showers
- Non-slip flooring
- Safety lighting
- Ramps and handrails
- Home monitoring technology for fall detection, emergencies, etc.
- CCTV security systems
Of course, these do not express the full extent of the safety and security features that are available. For a personalized assessment of your needs, consult a CAPS builder who can provide you with a certified list of recommended Aging in Place modifications. And remember, caring for your personal health can go a long way in maximizing the at-home experience. Regular exercise, weight management, fall prevention classes, and planning ahead for future challenges are all great ways to keep you in the home that you love.