We are either young with older parents, or are older ourself. Either way, you probably know someone who is a senior, or getting there, who has a wish to continue to live in their own home as long as they can. This is a great goal … however, there are some things to consider!
The most important consideration is to make the home safe for someone with diminished mobility (sorry, this is a fact of life) to maneuver through their environment. There are many inexpensive ways to make sure of this. The first hazard starts with the front door! Most doors have a raised insulation strip which is a tripping hazard for seniors … and something as simple as this demonstrates that there are many hazards in homes that are often overlooked by everyone when it comes to senior safety. There is an easy and inexpensive fix for this, and many other hazards to elderly wanting to stay in their homes.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has a program to remodel homes for those wishing to Age in Place (AIP). You may click on the HAHB link and type in the search box “Age in place” to find information there. You may also click on the AIP link and then click on the “Practical Advice” tab for information, especially the link on that tab called “Making Your Home Senior Friendly.”
There is a designation called Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) that you want to look for.
There is more … an occupational therapist (your physician may refer you to one, or you can click here for one too) can evaluate the way you perform tasks around your home and recommend renovations that increase your safety. Area Agency on Aging also can provide information on housekeeping services, in home care, and much more.