Aging-In-Place can be made easier with a few small additions or enhancements to each room in your home. As we age it helps to consider accessibility, which is easier to achieve with a simple layout, free space, grab bars, and good lighting throughout all rooms. Let’s take a look at some specific rooms.
The kitchen can be made more accessible by changing the height of cabinets and appliances, and ease of access to items inside of cabinets.
If you have a budget for renovation, it may be worth consulting a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist or your local cabinet-maker.
A few smaller installations you can do to help someone age-in-place in their kitchen include:
• a shallow/motorized sink
• Hands-free or lever-handled faucet
• Easy-to-reach water filtering devices
• “D” shaped pulls/handles on cabinets, doors, and drawers
• Pull-Out Shelves to Lower and Upper Cabinets
All appliances should be well-lit, easy to use, and easy to see!
Plan for the use of canes, wheelchairs, walkers or similar assistive devices by making sure the bathroom has plenty of free space.
Ensure the toilet is at a proper height or purchase a seat extender.
Installing grab bars is an easy and economic way to increase safety in the bathroom. They can be placed on the interior or exterior of the tub or shower, as well as near the toilet to help with sitting and standing. Grab bars are no longer all cold and metal- today many styles and colors are available to match your taste.
Shower seats, anti-slip coating, and adjustable shower heads can make showers much more accessible. walk-in tubs can also be considered.
Safety handles can be installed on the bed to allow easier access and reduce the potential for falling. Much like grab bars, these handles no longer look so clinical and can complement the decor of the room.
Having a working phone beside the bed may also be important in case there is a need to call for help. this phone should be corded or have a backup battery in case of power outage.
Cleaning out clutter in bedrooms is key! Storing heavy items or items you might use regularly on shelves can lead to accidents or things falling. Closets and Bedrooms should, again, be well-lit to avoid the possiblity of tripping!
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