July 5th, 2017
Fact of life #1: we all age. Fact of life #2: unfortunately, our homes don’t age the way we do.
In other words, as seniors we find it more difficult navigating narrow stairways or uneven floors, but our houses have no way of adjusting or compensating. Which means we need to take steps on our own to make living and work spaces more comfortable, safer and accessible so that older residents can remain in their homes longer.
Perhaps no areas of the home have more potential safety hazards than kitchens and bathrooms. Remodeling a kitchen area so that countertops are seat-height level, electrical outlets are up-to-date (and up-to-code), and wall supports are in place to assist with maneuvering, are all crucial. And by installing grab bars in tubs and close to toilets, and single-handed faucets for reduced risk of scalding, you can make bathrooms less risky at bath time.
Additionally, sufficient lighting is something that’s important in all areas of the house (especially in the kitchen, where cutting implements are used), and illuminated rocker switchers are better and easier to use than standard toggle light switches. Plus, since older, often arthritic hands have difficulty turning doorknobs, replacing old knobs with lever-style hardware can simplify moving from one room to another.
Finally, as a way to make living at home both more worry-free and affordable, newer more energy-efficient appliances can take the place of out-dated ones – and save your loved one money on future fuel bills.