Most people want to be able to live independently when they retire. Nobody dreams of having to go to an assisted living facility. However, aging in place can be quite a challenge for many people. Mobility tends to become an issue and there are usually physical limitations to what we can do.
There are ways to overcome a lot of obstacles that we face as we age. There are lots of devices such as medical alert devices and treatments for common illnesses that happen once a certain age is reached. There are also modifications that can be done to the house to make sure it is not as challenging when there are physical limitations. In this article, we will go over what many common ones are so that you can set up your house to be able to continue living on your own.
1 – Update the bathroom
Unfortunately, the bathroom is an area where there are many accidents and injuries are very common. With the wetness and lots of slick surfaces, it is often an injury waiting to happen. The shower is a particular concern and is something that often causes seniors to neglect their hygiene. Since they are wary of getting into a wet shower they will often go without to avoid risking an injury.
To make sure that you don’t neglect to wash, you can swap out your old-style bathtub and get one that has a door and is able to be walked right into rather than need to step over the side. These tubs are ideal as they also often have a built-in seat so you can sit and wash without feeling like you can fall or slip at any moment.
The toilet is also an issue since it requires having to twist around to properly clean yourself. People with mobility issues struggle to do this so it can be quite dangerous. Falling off of a toilet is common, as is the risk of pulling a muscle.
Going hands-free with a bidet toilet is the way to go since it uses a jet of water to help you clean. Electric ones often have air dryers so you don’t even have to use anything to dry off after.
2 – Change the furniture
Getting up out of bed and from a couch is usually difficult once the joints stiffen up and strength begins to fade away. This is when many falls happen because seniors lack stability and can easily strain themselves when trying to get up. Getting the right furniture is going to solve that problem.
An adjustable bed is essential as it can help in many ways. They are similar to hospital beds in that you can raise and lower areas with the push of a button. When you are able to lift the head of the bed, it can lift you to a sitting position. Then it’s simply a matter of swinging your legs around the side of the bed and standing up.
There are reclining chairs that do the same thing but much better. They lift the person up to an almost standing position so they can get up without stringing their back or risk losing balance.
3 – Use automation
Smart homes are very easily retrofitted these days. There are many devices that are able to connect with each other thanks to advances in the Internet of Things as well as Artificial Intelligence. Making your house smarter will allow you to stay safer and not have to worry about settings.
For instance, a smart security system is great for keeping seniors safe in their homes. Seniors are seen as vulnerable and often are targeted by thieves and scammers. Using a doorbell camera that allows the homeowner to see what is happening around their house on their smartphone is a good way to stay safe. These cameras use motion detection and an alert is sent to the device as soon as it is picked up. Then you can see who is there and if there is a threat or not.
Keeping the house cool and warm without needing to worry about the right settings is also going to help. Many seniors are concerned about the rising cost of energy and keep their homes too cold in winter. Using smart thermostats will help since the system can maintain the optimum temperature without wasting energy. They can even be connected to the local weather station and turn on and off based on the incoming weather.