- According to survey by AARP, 75% of adults 50 years and older prefer to remain in their homes
- Home modifications in any condo or single-family home anywhere in country enable older adults to “remain in place”
- Less expensive to age in place compared to living in senior communities
As adults live longer in better health, more adults are preferring and choosing to live in their homes/condominiums as they age. To help your aging clients maintain their lifestyle, community involvements, respective business/career activities, and proximity to established friendships for as long as possible, suggest they make some of the improvements/modifications mentioned below to help make their daily tasks and lives a bit easier.
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(These improvements/modifications are centered around optimal accessibility, convenience and safety designs to help prevent falls and/or serious injury.)
Modifications to Aid Mobility
- Balance – install handrails to stairs, hallways, bedrooms and bathrooms
- Visibility – upgrade to LED bulbs and consider installing touch-activated lamps in hallways, bedroom and bathroom
- Grip and stability – install lever-style door handles
- Stair safety – install stair lift as alternative to walking up and down stairs plus light switches at top and bottom of stairs to prevent using stairs in the dark
- Light – install automated blinds so light/dark blind adjustments can be done seated
- Accessible passageways – create open floor plans and widen doorways and hallways so home navigation can be done with a walker, wheelchair or unassisted
- Floor consistency – carpet most forgiving if navigating home unassisted but vinyl, laminate or hardwood flooring more consistent for those with walkers/wheelchairs
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- Safety – remove clutter and rearrange furniture for maximum space to move around room safely
- Safety – remove wobbly furniture to prevent falls and add bumpers to sharp edges on remaining furniture
- Safety – install anti-slip mats and add anti-slip strips to bottom of rugs to increase traction and reduce tripping
- Accessibility – keep everyday use items “tableware, cookware, appliances) between waist and shoulder height to eliminate step stools and crouching
- Safety – consider buying stovetop with automatic shut-off feature that detects motion/lack of motion so stove turns off
- Safety and health – install hands-free faucet to reduce germ spread and anti-scald device to avoid burns
- Accessibility – adjust counter, sink and cabinet heights to enable food prep and washing while seated and install drawers, and pull out shelving
- Accessibility – locate oven, sink and refrigerator as close to each other as possible
- Safety – attach adhesive strips to mats in showers/tubs to help prevent slipping
- Safety – add non-skid strips on floor to help prevent slipping
- Safety – install walk-in bathtub of shower transfer bench to prevent slipping/falling
- Safety – install grab bars/rails in tubs and near toilets to enhance mobility and help prevent falling
- Safety – install a raised toilet seat to decrease distance between standing and sitting
- Safety – install at least one no-step entry into home and/or replace exterior stairs with removable ramp
- Visibility – add exterior lighting and landscape/walkway/stairs lighting
- Balance – add handrails on both sides of walkways and stairs
- Protection – install security system for sense of security
Upfront costs for aging-in-place modifications/improvements can add up. Long-term expenses of living in a senior community, however, can be much more costly. Check in to home improvement grants, equipment loans, Medicare Advantage, Non-Medicaid Government assistance and Medicaid HCBS Waivers, Veterans programs and non-profit organizations for financial help.
Thanks to Redfin.
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