If you’ve considered options for yourself or your aging parents, you may have come across the term “aging in place.” The idea is that older adults can live at home with the support they need to thrive. There are a variety of ways to make this work, but most homes will need to be modified to allow for all of the possible scenarios that come with aging. Here are just a few things you can do at home or for your parents to promote healthy aging in place.
Improve Overhead and Task Lighting
As eyes age, it can be harder to see in low light. Better lighting will go a long way in giving an older adult more freedom to do everyday tasks.
Upgrade the Toilet
Bathrooms are not often designed for aging adults. If you have inaccessible features, work on making them more accessible. For example, put in a toilet that is higher so it’s easier to sit.
Install a Walk-In Shower
Tubs can also be a problem as older adults begin to experience mobility problems. A walk-in shower can increase accessibility. And don’t forget to install handrails even if you don’t need them yet.
Use Slide-Out Cabinets
There are some upgrades that will be useful in the kitchen as well. Crawling on the floor to dig in the back of a corner cabinet will be off the table for aging knees and hips. Pull-out cabinet organizers will make all the difference.
Incorporate Counter Heights
For older adults who can’t stand for long periods of time or for those using wheelchairs, lower counters can be very helpful. They allow those aging in place to still have the freedom to prepare food and work in the kitchen.
Use Single-Level Living
A home with stairs to a second floor is not always conducive to aging in place. It’s also important to note the other areas that use stairs for access. For example, make sure the laundry room is on the first floor. If you have steps up to the front door, you can install a ramp.