“Aging in Place” Home Design & Safety Tips
Today, more and more homeowners entering their senior years are choosing to “age in place” – meaning, to live in their current home for as long as they are able. However, not all homes have the safety and convenience features to make sustained independent living feasible.
Still, if you or your parents are entering this season of life and considering making your home more user-friendly and comfortable, here are 5 tips to consider.
- Upgrade your faucets. Today’s faucets not only come in countless finishes and styles, but many offer the convenience of hands-free operation. You can also purchase faucets that monitor and adjust water temperature to reduce the risk of scalding. For your kitchen, opt for a faucet with a pull down spout to make food prep and clean-up easier.
- Get rid of throw rugs. Throw rugs and small area rugs can be big tripping and falling hazards. If you must have an area rug, choose one with a non-slip backing. Better yet, consider installing wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Make stairs safer. While one-floor living is great if you have mobility issues, sometimes stairs are simply unavoidable. You can make them a little safer by installing carpet, a stair runner, or slip-resistant stair treads. Install a second banister on the opposite wall, and make sure stairs are well-lit, especially at night. Motion sensing LED stair lights are an inexpensive way to brighten pathways and stairways.
- Add lighting. In addition to stairs, make sure other important areas of your home have sufficient lighting, too, such as hallways, bathrooms, and kitchens. LED lights in the bathroom can make those middle-of-the-night trips safer while under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen can make food prep and cooking easier. Also, don’t forget your switches. Someone in a wheelchair might not be able to reach the wall sconce next to the bed, while a loved one with arthritis might have difficulty with a switch that you have to turn and push.
- Add a first floor master bedroom. don’t have to build an addition house to accomplish this goal. Instead, perhaps you can creatively convert a room on the ground level into a new master bedroom room (or suite) while converting the existing master bedroom into a guest bedroom or den. It sure beats having to move out just to avoid extra stair climbing.
Here at Plumbtastic, consider us a very willing and capable partner in making your home more compatible with aging in place. Take your master bathroom, for example. All by itself, it’s a stationery booby trap for slips and falls, but it doesn’t have to be. Not if we replace your existing tub with a zero entry, walk-in model. Or add one or grab bars for easier shower entry or toilet use. And there are handheld shower heads so you no longer have to turn around to wash both sides of your body, not to mention anti-scald faucets and showerheads to help prevent a sudden change in water temperature that could startle you, cause you to fall, and worse.
To learn more about what Plumbtastic can do for you, contact us by phone or email today.