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Aging in Place? Make Sure Your Home is Ready

March 18, 2017 12:33 am

As more and more baby boomers opt to stay close to children and grandchildren, aging in place - or choosing to stay in your home instead of moving to a retirement community - is an increasingly popular trend.

If you or your loved ones plan to remain in the family home, AARP recommends making sure modifications are made in the following areas to ensure a smooth transition into the golden years.

Lighting: Make sure there is plenty of lighting in all exterior locations: driveways, porches, decks, pathways, etc. Inside the home, ramp up lighting in stairwells, closets, hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms. Consider light-sensor night lights in such locations and install glow-in-the-dark light switches. In kitchens, install under-cabinet and stove lighting to better spotlight work areas. AARP recommends halogen bulbs, which reduce glare, and full-spectrum bulbs that better simulate daylight.

Mobility: Make it easy to move around your home by installing rolling casters on chairs. Make daily life more accessible by installing a walk-in or no-threshold shower with a bench and hand-held showerhead, and lower rods and shelves in closets and cabinets.

Safety: Lots of small details will make your home much safer as you age. Make sure there are handrails on both sides of the stairs, and install them in any area of your home where you may need more support, like the shower stall or front stoop. Check your doors and make sure locks are easy to use and that you have a peephole, viewing panel or security camera at the main entrance. Make sure your interior doorways are wide enough (at least 36 inches), carpets are secure, and electrical and phone cords are neatly arranged to prevent tripping hazards.

Taking the time to outfit your home now will allow you to safely enjoy many more years to come under the same roof.

Published with permission from RISMedia.