Connections Home Care clients are eligible to receive a FREE HOME SAFETY ASSESSMENT by a licensed builder. Additionally, estimates for home modifications can be provided.
Home Modification Considerations
Home Improvement Assistance. Home improvements, modifications, and repairs can help older adults maintain their independence and prevent accidents. Work can range from simple changes, like replacing doorknobs with pull handles, to major structural projects such as installing a wheelchair ramp. Most people would prefer to grow old while staying comfortable and independent in their own homes to 'age in place'.
However, many people wind up selling their homes and moving into some form of assisted living often despite their wishes. One reason for this is that modern American homes are rarely designed with seniors in mind. As people age, even navigating stairs or getting into a bathtub can be a dangerous experience. Without special adjustments to accommodate changing needs, familiar and comfortable homes can become death traps.
However, it's possible to make your home safer and increase the chances you'll be able to age in place. Aging in place remodeling projects have become big business and could be a good idea for your home. Here are a few things to think about.
Choosing the Right Contractor
Not all contractors have experience in remodeling a home to make it safer for seniors. Connections Home Care partners with Harwell Building Company to provide safety assessments and home modifications. Harwell Building Company has extensive experience in safety assessments and renovations to make a home more accessible. www.harwellbuilding.com
Our clients are eligible to receive a FREE HOME SAFETY ASSESSMENT by a licensed builder in addition to various home modification suggestions.
In the Meantime
Find small things you can do to make your home safer. While a more extensive remodeling project is definitely important to consider, there are several things you can do at no or very little cost, without hiring a contractor.
Here are a few home modification ideas for making a senior home safer
For the exterior
Make sure you have a low-maintenance yard that doesn't require a lot of physical work to keep up.
- Green yards full of fast-growing plants should be replaced with something that doesn't require a lot of upkeep, such as a rock garden, edible foods, native grasses, and flowers, shrubs, and trees that are easy to keep up.
- The exterior of the house should be assessed to make sure it requires very little maintenance. Exterior products are available that provide extended warranties and little upkeep.
For the interior floor plan
Everything you need should be on the first floor of the house including bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. If you intend to stay in the home, it could be worth it to convert one or more first-floor rooms so you have everything you need on one floor.
For the hallways
Your hallways should be at least 36 inches wide so you can accommodate a wheelchair, power chair, or walker if needed even if you don't use one now. In addition, hallways should all have nightlights so you can move around easily at night without having to reach for a light switch.
For the kitchen
Keep all your necessary items on lower shelves so you don't have to reach or use a step stool, and avoid putting anything important in lower drawers so you don't have to bend down. Be sure that your appliances are at the height of your counters so you don't have to bend down, and that the controls are easily accessible and easy to read. The kitchen should be well lit, with individual lights to illuminate specific tasks.
For the bathroom
Handrails at the toilet are essential for easy raising and lowering; it can also be helpful to install a high toilet, about two and a half inches higher than the usual toilet height. Replace your bathtub shower with a shower that does not have a threshold; handrails around the shower and a fold-down seat inside the shower for washing can be helpful too. Non-slip flooring is also important; avoid raised bath mats that might cause someone to trip. As in the kitchen, lighting is important in the bathroom; be sure all areas are brightly lit for specific tasks.