Old age can bring about many different transitions when it comes to a person’s living situation. As changes to the body occur, mobility can become quite a challenge and extra assistance may be needed. While many people choose to move to an assisted living community, there are just as many people who wish to stay within the comfort of their own homes. This is commonly referred to as simply “aging in place”. With so many people choosing to say in their homes, aging in place home modifications are becoming increasingly popular. There are many different home modifications for the elderly that can be done to a house to maintain your loved one’s independence and comfortability in the home and community they’ve grown accustomed to.
Why home modifications are right for you
Even though choosing to reside in an assisted living community can still meet a person’s needs, sometimes the better choice is to age in place. Home modifications consist of any number of structural changes that are made to a home in order to better accommodate a person’s needs as far as managing their everyday life. Many people choose to go the home modification route to remain in the residence where they’re familiar, comfortable and have made a lifetime of memories. Beyond that, however, there are many other benefits associated with seniors being able to stay in their homes. Some of these include:
- Safe environment
- Familiar routine and surroundings
- More comfortable
- Helps slow the advancement of memory loss
While everyone’s situation is different, aging in place can also have significant cost savings for some people. There are a huge number of variables to consider, but in the right circumstances, it can come with a much lower price tag than an assisted living community or nursing home. Much depends on the amount of modification necessary, with some of the most common being home modifications for seniors being ramps, lifts, and bathroom alterations.
Ramps & wheelchair ramps
Living with limited mobility can make getting around the house more difficult, especially if you are using a wheelchair. Installing ramps in your home can make the challenge of getting around significantly easier. Most ramps are installed on the outside of a house to make it easier to get inside without climbing upstairs or getting over other obstacles. These ramps are a more permanent solution as a mobility aid in your home.
With a similar purpose that the previous ramps had, portable ramps serve as a means of getting over obstacles. Even if you aren’t using a wheelchair, a ramp can be a useful tool for navigating and avoiding steps. These types of ramps can also be easily folded and stored to bring along with you wherever you go. They are a durable means of getting up steps, getting into vehicles, and other low raised areas. These ramps can travel with you wherever you go to ensure you can safely get in and out of difficult locations.
Ceiling lifts are popular home modifications for seniors and can be especially beneficial for those who are unable to move on their own. These lifts allow a person to be moved safely from room to room in the home by themselves or with the help of a family member or caregiver. The lifts can be securely installed in your home to transport you safely and help prevent falls.
Bathtub & bathroom modifications
When it comes to bathtub modifications and repairs, there are many different routes that you can take to make a safer experience in the bathtub. You could choose to completely replace the bathtub with a walk-in shower to make it more accessible and easier to get in and out of. If you would rather keep your traditional bathtub, it can be modified to create a walk-in tub. This provides easier access for getting in and out of the tub. If you don’t want to completely remodel or replace your tub, grab bars can be installed to provide something to hang onto as a foundation when getting in and out of the bathtub.
Other modifications that can be made to the bathroom include:
- Raised toilet seats
- Open shelves for accessibility
- Upgraded bathroom flooring
- Lowered bathroom sinks
- Automatic light switches and faucet handles
- Handheld showerheads
- Shower seats
As your loved ones get older, it’s important to evaluate the flooring in their home. Balance becomes a concern in aging adults and the type of flooring in their house can cause issues. The ideal flooring should be one that is durable yet soft in case there are any slips and falls that occur. The floors should also be easy to clean to avoid any additional difficulties cleaning up spills and other small messes. Typically, rubber flooring is the best option for most seniors as it is easy to clean, soft, and slip-resistant.
If your loved one wishes to remain living independently, it is best to contact CareLinc’s Rehab department and they can conduct a full-home accessibility assessment customized around an individual’s mobility. Our trained team will examine the outside and inside of the home to determine what modifications can and should be made. Our team can quote, sell, install and service all of the leading brands of home modification and accessibility products. To learn more about our home modification services for seniors, send us a message or call your local CareLinc location.