Dave Carevich

Your house is more than bricks, wood, and metal—it’s your home, and you want to stay there for the rest of your life. Thanks to the numerous senior-friendly additions available today, you can make sure your house is your home for a lifetime.

Locate Risky Areas

Your home probably has a few places that have always been risky. Whether it’s a step that leans a little too far to one side or a doorway with an elevated threshold, these are the first areas you should address when making your home more senior-friendly.

Some common problem areas are:

  • Bathrooms: Many bathrooms have tubs that are too high or showers that have an edge that are not comfortable or safe to step over.
  • Doorways: The threshold of a doorway should generally be flush with the ground on either side, but this isn’t always the case.
  • Kitchens: Worn-down or slippery tile can be difficult to navigate safely, and stovetops, ovens, and other outdated appliances are not always user-friendly or safe.
  • Stairways: Not only can it be exhausting to go up and down those steps over and over every day, steep staircases also present a dangerous fall risk for seniors.

Each home is unique, so there may be areas you’re not comfortable in that aren’t mentioned here. Once you’ve figured out where your specific risk areas are, you can start making plans to fix them.

Easy Home Additions for Enhanced Safety

There are a number of additions that can be made to a home to make it more senior-friendly, and help eliminate or work around the dwelling’s risk areas. Whether you’re looking for easier mobility or more comfort, there’s usually something that can be done to make your life easier and let you continue to live where you’re happiest.

Some common additions include:

  • Walk-in showers and tubs: A walk-in shower or tub eliminates the problem of having to step up over the edge of a tub or shower that’s too high; reducing the risk of falling in a slippery setting. Walk-in tubs or tubs with slide-down walls (which allow a person to sit down and swing their legs into the tub) make getting in and out of much safer. Walk-in showers are flush with the floor and have no lip to step over, and they can include non-slip tiles and built-in benches to make showering easier. Shower stalls can also be outfitted for wheelchair use.
  • Handrails and grab bars: Typically placed in hallways or bathrooms, handrails and grab bars are also a good idea for some kitchens. Having a grab bar in risky areas greatly reduces the chance of a fall or injury from slipping.
  • Non-skid strips and decals: These are probably already in place in your bathtub, but they should also be placed in other areas where the floor is slippery. Suggested locations include stairways, foyers, kitchen floors and, of course, bathrooms.
  • Stair lifts: For seniors who have mobility issues or who live in bi-level homes that don’t cater to their needs, a stair lift is a great addition that can make everyday life easier. Going up and down the stairs can…

This article was sourced from AgingCare.com.

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