Many seniors appreciate the amenities and easygoing lifestyle of assisted living communities, but most people actually tend to want to age in place, in their lifelong homes and familiar neighborhoods. If you want to learn more about ways to make your home more aging-friendly, keep reading to see our top home modifications, as well as assistive technologies that provide you with state-of-the-art technology to use in your very own home to maintain your independence.
If a senior relies on mobility aids, such as a walker or wheelchair, to navigate through her home, widening doorways is a must-have home modification. Depending on the insulation and placement of electrical switches and outlets in the home, costs vary greatly for widening doorways.
Exterior stairs may be a challenge for seniors who are unsteady on their feet or have balance issues, so installing ramps is a necessary home modification that is well worth the cost to provide greater independence. Licensed contractors are trained in building and installing ramps of the correct height and rise for seniors. Indoor threshold ramps are also necessary home modifications for older adults who use wheelchairs.
Shower and Bathtub Modifications
A senior opting to age in place also should consider home modifications for the bathroom, particularly the bathtub. One option is to replace the bathtub with a walk-in shower, which provides much easier (and safer) entry and exit than a bathtub. A second bathroom modification option is to replace a traditional bathtub with a walk-in tub.
Medical Alert Systems
One of the most valuable tools available to a person aging in place is a medical alert system. These provide monitoring to at-risk elders and reach out to pre-set contacts and emergency services if a fall happens, or the alarm button is pushed. These alarm systems are available as easy-to-use smartphone apps, and as wearable devices like a necklace or bracelet.
If these home modifications do not provide enough assistance to enable you to live independently, it might make more sense to consider seeking out a retirement community to tour. No technology will provide the same level of care that you will find in an assisted living community, where it is standard for residents to receive assistance with all activities of daily living as needed. But, these modifications make aging in place a viable and safer option for those who do desire to age in place.
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