Aging in Place: Tips for Your Home

Q: Do you have any tips for helping me age in place?

A: According to AARP, 83 percent of people 45 and older are homeowners. A survey conducted found that three quarters of those people expect to remain exactly where they are for the rest of their lives.

Many forward-thinking seniors are remodeling their homes to accommodate decreased mobility, dexterity, strength and stamina, along with reduced sensory acuity. If you’d like to jump on that bandwagon without triggering your trick knee, follow these easy tips:

  • Focus your activities of daily living to the ground floor of your home.
  • Make sure your home has at least one point of entrance with no stairs.
  • Widen doorways to at least 36 inches, which will fit a wheelchair.
  • Use levered door handles. For someone with arthritis, pressing down is easier than turning a knob.
  • Place electrical outlets 18 inches high, instead of 12; move light switches to 42 inches from the floor instead of 48.
  • Install strobe light or vibrator-assisted burglar and smoke alarms.
  • Move your peep hole to eye-level.
  • Incorporate an emergency response system.
  • Use lever faucets with anti-scald valves and temperature-controlled tub and shower fixtures.

Place grab bars in the bathroom and wherever else you may need them.

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