Tips For Making It Easier For A Senior To Age In Place

15 April 2016
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog

The majority of people want to stay living in their own homes as they get older. In fact, an AARP poll taken in 2010 found that 75 percent of people hope to do so. While this may not be possible for everyone, there are a number of steps you can take to make this more likely.

Make Changes to the Home

A number of relatively small changes in the home can make it safer and easier for people to stay there as they get older. For example, make the doorways wide enough for wheelchairs. If the door isn't at least 32 inches wide, people with walkers and wheelchairs won't be able to get through. Add grab bars near the toilet and in the shower or tub. Consider installing a curbless shower with a bench to sit on so there's no need to step over anything to get in. This minimizes the chances of tripping. Make the lights brighter and add more of them, redo the kitchen so there isn't as much need to reach overhead or bend down low, and install a ramp if there are steps to get into the house.

Consider Some Type of In Home Care

As long as an elderly person doesn't require a high level of medical care, it may be possible for seniors to age in place, especially if they have some type of supportive in home care. The exact type of care will depend on the needs of the person in question. For example, a home health aide could come in to help with light housekeeping duties, chores, giving rides, grocery shopping and cooking meals. For those with health problems, a visiting nurse or CNA can be hired to come and provide some types of medical care on a regular basis. Contact a company like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care for more info.

Choose the Right Home

Some homes can't be remodeled easily to make them suitable for aging in place or are located in inconvenient locations. It's easiest to age in place when there isn't a lot of necessary yard work, the home is in a relatively safe neighborhood with plenty of friends and family nearby, and there is some type of easily accessible transportation nearby for those who can no longer drive themselves. Older individuals that aren't living in a suitable home may want to move to one of the many naturally occurring retirement communities or one of the retirement communities that allow people to start with independent living in a home and then, should the need arise, move within the same community to an assisted living or nursing home facility.