A significant percentage of older men and women have expressed a desire to grow old in their own homes, yet far fewer actually live out those desires. Age and infirmity can make living on their own difficult, and over time, many of those seniors will end up in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

If you want to beat the odds and stay in your own home, you need to think ahead. And if you want the seniors you care about to enjoy a high quality of life, you need to be smart about upgrading their surroundings. With the right upgrades, keeping seniors at home is possible, but the sooner you get started the better off you will be. Here are a few strategic upgrades.

Grab Bars in the Bathroom

A fall in the bathroom could be particularly devastating to a senior citizen. The hard tile floor can make broken bones more likely and even a small slip could result in torn ligaments, damaged tendons and months of painful recovery.

Even if they do not need them now, installing grab bars in a senior’s home could have important safety benefits. A sudden hospital stay or long illness could make getting around difficult, and those grab bars will certainly come in handy. A handicapped-accessible bathroom could even enhance the resale value of the home.

Walk-In Shower Enclosures

A slip-and-fall in the shower could be devastating, and shower safety is a critical consideration for seniors who want to stay in their own homes. Negotiating the lip of a conventional bathtub can become increasingly difficult for seniors, but a simple upgrade could enhance home safety and make a dangerous fall less likely.

There are a number of upgrades available, from simple walking shower enclosures that eliminate the bathtub altogether to unique designs that incorporate handicapped-accessible tubs. Some even come with saunas and hot tubs, so seniors can enjoy a relaxing soak without the high risk of falls and injuries.

Enhanced Lighting

Many seniors suffer from poor vision, and that can make getting around and staying at home more difficult. Even so, keeping those seniors at home may require little more than a lighting upgrade.

From installing skylights to adding under-counter lighting in the kitchen to increase the wattage throughout the home, a few strategic upgrades can make a world of difference. If you are unsure which lighting upgrades are more important, just talk to your eye doctor.

Non-Slip Surfaces

When it is time to install new flooring, it is important to consider safety as well as aesthetics. Those highly polished hardwood floors may look great, but they could be too slippery for seniors as they get older.

Fortunately, there are a number of non-slip surfaces available, from specialty wood floors to carpets. These non-slip floors are just as attractive, so you do not have to compromise beauty for safety’s sake.

Lift Chairs

Kicking back in a comfortable chair is a great way to spend a few hours, but getting out of that chair can be a real problem. If the senior in your home is having trouble with their existing seating surfaces, a simple upgrade could make a world of difference.

Julio
julio@nwaids.org

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