Aging and Your Home

As we age we don’t hear so well, we sometimes forget or get confused and we can even outlive doctor’s predictions about our longevity. So as long as we persist in growing older, why not arrange our homes to accommodate our reality. Incorporate memory triggers into the way we arrange cabinets and counters, Add soft fabrics to muffle background noises, change appliances to better accommodate our short-comings and make our homes senior-friendly.

The aging process is blamed for many problems seniors may encounter with daily activities. However, quite often it is the home that creates the difficulties. Most residential housing is geared to young healthy adults. Builders do not take into account age-related conditions such as reduced mobility or limited range of reach. Hence, dwellings do not support the physical and sensory changes that older adults encounter as they age. What appear to be insignificant home features can have a significant effect for a person with even minor aging issues.

Many seniors avoid home modifications and helpful technology items designed for people with disabilities because these products have an industrial appearance. No one wants to have their home look like a hospital. Consumer demand and computer technology have pushed institutional products to be redesigned to be more acceptable in the home. Some of these include:

  • Chairs designed for easier in and out
  • Enhanced high and low frequency tones for doorbells and telephones
  • Grab bars and hand rails with decorator colors
  • Hospital type beds with wooden headboards and footboards
  • Items that are easier for arthritic hands to handle,
  • Larger print for declining eyesight
  • On/off buttons with color contrasts
  • Walkers in bright hues

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) states that falls are the number one cause of home injury, and studies suggest that a significant proportion of all falls are due to environmental factors.

The three leading causes of home injuries, according to the NCIPC, are: falls, burns and poisoning. Seniors are especially susceptible to these types of injuries. One of the bigger challenges is to identify safety issues that may be unique to an individual based on their particular aging status and conditions. While research via books and the Internet can help focus on such issues, the use of a good checklist in assessing the home environment is helpful. Call today for your NO-COST Aging In Place Check-up. This easy-to-read checklist is specially designed for senior homeowners who wish to “age in place” in their residences and want to have their homes inspected for potential updates to address safety, convenience and accessibility concerns.

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