Creating a Safe Environment for Aging in Place

A survey conducted by AARP found that 77 percent of people aged 50 and older want to remain in their homes as they age. The downside is that most homes are not adequately equipped to support them. When your loved one decides they want to age in place, you may feel overwhelmed about the changes and accommodations that need to be made. Mission Health + Home is here to alleviate that worry! We’ve outlined multiple areas to consider making safer for those with limited mobility. Read on to learn some of our tips!

Contact Mission Health + Home today to learn more about what we can do for you!

So What is Aging in Place?

Aging in place refers to the practice of remaining in your home as you enter the later stages of life. Many people are drawn to this for many reasons. Your home is a comfortable and familiar environment. To properly age in place, however, accessibility accommodations must be made so that the individual can move around and complete daily tasks safely.

Areas to Consider when Creating a Safe Home Environment

1. Stairs

Stairs can be one of the biggest obstacles for people aging in place. Whether they have limited mobility, are prone to falling, or have trouble getting around easily on their own, accessibility accommodations are crucial for homes with steps.

With a custom-designed stair lift, your loved one can safely, comfortably, and independently move up and down the stairs. No matter the layout of your existing home, our team can provide a free evaluation and remodeling services to better accommodate your new stair lift.

Vertical platform lifts are another incredible solution. They are technologically advanced, easy to use, and require little maintenance, which makes them a wonderful alternative to wheelchair ramps. VPLs are installed inside or outside the home, anywhere one needs to reach another level. The user simply enters the lift in their wheelchair, and the lift does the rest of the work.

2. Bathrooms

Bathrooms can be the most dangerous room in the house since tile and ceramic can be extremely slippery when wet. The shower is a great place to start. You may need to install a walk-in shower, as bathtubs are difficult to enter and exit. Inside the shower, a seat or bench and grab bars are great tools to reduce instability and minimize falls. Make sure to add non-slip mats inside the shower and around the bathroom. For those who are in wheelchairs or have trouble lowering down, toilets and sinks may need to be remodeled to be lifted or lowered, depending on accessibility needs.

Visit our website for more information about Mission Health + Home’s mobility solutions.

3. Floors

Are your hardwood or tile floors slippery? Installing carpeting is a sure way to prevent falling risks. Make sure to choose a short pile carpet, as walkers and wheelchairs can easily get caught in shag carpeting. If you have an area rug that is not attached to the flooring, secure the edges with tape or non-slip backing.

4. Beds

If you or a loved one has limited mobility, active care beds are essential for aging in place. They are electrically powered and incline and recline manually. This is incredibly helpful for reducing pain and increasing mobility and comfort. It also greatly minimizes any physical strain on caretakers.

5. Lighting

The way your home is lit can also impact those with limited mobility. Central lighting should be easy to access and spread throughout all areas of the home. Dim-lit areas like closets, basements, and hallways should have lighting. Low-level night lights are another great accommodation option for rooms that may need to be accessed at night, like the bathroom and hallways.

Age in Place Safely with Mission Health + Home

When your loved one decides to age in place, there are many risk factors to consider. Don’t let your stress impact your decision. Mission Health + Home is here to prepare your home and reduce your worries. The solutions we’ve laid out are just the beginning– we offer many more accessibility solutions that address various needs. Visit our website to discover more of our offerings!

Mission Health + Home is Western New York’s trusted solution for families in Western NY looking to create a safe environment to age in place. Ready to see how we can help you? Contact us today!