Five Action Items for Aging in Place

A man and woman laying in bed smiling for the camera.

Home is not a place–it’s a feeling.

~ Unknown


Aging in place

Here are 5 easy and quick aging-in-place action items (and some words to ponder) you can do for a loved one in a weekend to improve safety, and your piece of mind.

When you fall, I will catch you.

~ The Floor

Rugs: We all love rugs, but sometimes they don’t love us back. Lets face it, rugs are a tripping hazard. Action Item #1 Remove them or use carpet tacks/double sided tape to keep them in place securely if you must. Or if they are decorative, place them on the walls instead. Also, be mindful of other tripping PERILS like electric cords that should be placed out of the pathways.

Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.

~ Charles Spurgeon

Stairs: Most older homes have stairs, and yes, they can be a disaster in waiting. Action Item #2 If stair steps are involved place non-slip adhesive strips on them. I’ve done this both inside and outside the house and it’s easy to do. Just peal and stick, most any hardware store has them. And while you’re at it, place nonslip treads in the tub or shower. Carpeted stairs are form over function and I’ve had my own personal run-in with them. Best to get rid of the carpet if possible. If not, make sure the stairs are well illuminated and secure handrails are in place.

To shine your brightest light is to be who you truly are.

~ Roy T. Bennett

Lighting: Speaking of lighting, there are several easy and quick upgrades from painting the walls lighter colors to adding path lights and changing out higher wattage ratings on bulbs that are safe for the fixtures, is a great way to go. Action Item #3 USA Today has a nice summary on aging-in-place lighting. In addition, dusk to dawn nightlights for the bathroom and hallways that light up when the sun goes down can provide an added level of safety and security. BTW, sensor/motion lights outside placed in strategic areas that are automatic after dark are essential.

One Year closer to needing a handrail in the shower.

~ Handrail Birthday Card / Rhubard Paper Co

Railings: Can’t emphasize the importance of handrails. It seems obvious, but often overlooked as a safety strategy. Action Item #4 We had a handyman place them on our stairs for my father-in-law visit. Easy fix and now we all enjoy them. All steps should have at least one side-preferably both (And yes, Rhubard Parer Co is a bad example of ageism). Grab bars, a bathroom must, textured bar and make sure they are wall mounted with studs with backing support (by a professional). The suction cup bars are a lawyer’s dream…Avoid them.

Every sound alarms.

~ Virgil

Smoke Alarms/Carbon Monoxide: Have they been updated? Are the batteries good? Each floor must have one. Action Item #5 Look into smart home tech devices; BestBuy / aging in place, is a good place to begin. Also stoves can be a hazard and there a terrific products like iGardStove that shuts off after 5 minutes of nonuse, Burner Alert discs that blink/beep and attach to stove knobs, or Ome Smart knobs app that controls heating settings. Finally, good old fire extinguishers that are smaller and easy to use–place them all around the house in clear accessible locations, including the garage. Wearables, a Medical alert systems with 911 buttons are a staple–but you have to wear them to be effective. Medical alert systems are often not employed by the older adult at home for a number of Reasons tragically. Do frequent test drills with your loved one, make sure they know how and when to use it.


Aging in Place With Habitat for Humanity/Google

USA Today link

error: Content is protected !!