When we are younger, we tend to buy a house because it's what we WANT. As we begin to age, that house may no longer be what we NEED. The home that you fell in love with is still a great option for your later years in life with the right modifications. Home modifications can save the home that you love and allow you to age in place for many years to come.
Aging in place is where one makes the decision to spend their golden years at home rather than at a retirement or assisted living facility. This is a wonderful thing not only for the simple fact that people get to stay in a home that is full of memories, it's also been shown to have mental health benefits as well. Assisted living facilities have been shown to cause depression and other mental health issues.
Another issues to age at home is the rising cost of assisted living facilities. The average cost of an assisted living facility in Houston, as of Feb.2023, is $4,245 per month or $50,940 per year. Making modifications to your home would cost far less over time and allow you to be safe and comfortable at home.
What Modifications Should be Considered?
One of the most dangerous places in the home for slips and falls is the bathroom. Modifying your bathroom to make it more accessible will make it much safer for aging in place. Here are some modifications that can be made in the bathroom:
- A Zero-Entry Shower - This is a shower that has no threshold to step over, therefore removing the tripping hazard while entering and exiting the shower.
- Grab Bars and Raised Toilets - Installing a raised or higher toilet makes it easier to sit and stand when going to the restroom. Grab bars around the toilet area and inside the shower also allow for extra support when needed.
- Wheelchair Accessible Vanities - Special vanities can be made that allow for the cabinet doors to open and the bottom piece to be removed allowing for a wheelchair to slide underneath easily.
- Improved Lighting - Installing brighter lights or additional lights allows for improved vision while in the restroom.
Another dangerous area in the home that has a high risk for falling is a stairway. According to the healthline.com, more than 1 million people were treated for falls on the stairs. One easy way to take out this safety hazard is to install a stairlift or elevator.
- A stairlift is a system that is installed onto your existing staircase. A rail is installed on the wall that allows for a chair to ride on it. The chair rides up and down the stairs. The rider is completely secured while the lift is in motion.
- A home elevator travels between floors and requires more construction than a stairlift. LiveWell's through-the-floor elevator does not require an elevator shaft and has the smallest footprint in the home.
Lastly, installing ramps at the entrance and exit of the home can remove tripping hazards. Ramps can replace steps and also provide a space for a wheelchair to access the home.
This is just a list of a few of the home modifications that we recommend. There are so many other ways to eliminate safety hazards and provide a safe and secure home to age in place in. Our Accessibility Consultants provide a free, in-home consultation and walk through your home with you to identify any problem areas. Please give us a call to schedule an appointment.
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