Aging in place is a design that has been gaining popularity with the baby boomer generation for quite some time. Seeing their own parents move away from their home and into assisted living and nursing homes probably influenced their decision to grow old in their family home instead, whether by themselves or with a help of a Beverly Hills home care professional.
However, in order to ensure their safety, there are certain home upgrades that are mandatory for any aging in place home. The focus is mainly on creating a universal home, suitable for people of all ages and not just seniors. This is not just an architectural design, but a wider concept meant to ensure the safety of seniors, Alzheimer’s patients, the disabled and other vulnerable age groups.
In this article, we are going to list some of the most important elements of an aging in place home design.
Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents
Safety bars are the number one allies in preventing slip and fall hazards, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caused 25,500 deaths in 2013 alone and present one of the major health concerns for seniors. Therefore, safety bars are essential in helping seniors move around freely and safely. Their use is not only limited to the bathroom, even though they are most commonly found there.
Another effective way to reduce the risk of such accidents is to choose non-slip flooring material. Even though tiles might look amazing in a kitchen, if they get wet they become accidents just waiting to happen. Instead, choose materials that provide greater traction.
Make Rooms More Accessible
These types of projects may be more difficult and expensive, but will really pay off in the long run. For example, widening a doorway can prove to be a bit pricey, as it involves removing a part of the wall which may contain plumbing or electrical wiring. This can make the task all the more complicated.
Another expensive, yet highly valuable home improvement project is adding an elevator. If your senior loved one has impaired mobility and their home is not a single-floor one, this upgrade is mandatory. However, the design of your home will determine whether this upgrade is even possible.
Improve the Kitchen Functionality
Some seniors still enjoy spending time in the kitchen, making their grandchildren their favorite meals. But as we age, even some mundane cooking tasks become extremely difficult. If your senior loved one plans on cooking, you might want to look into a couple of kitchen upgrades.
These upgrades may include something as simple as lowering the countertop height to creating a seating prep station. You also have to make sure everything is accessible, which means high shelves are out of the questions.
Finally, since seniors tend to forget more, you might want to invest in smart appliances or appliances that shut down automatically if not tended to.
Improve the Bathroom Functionality
Another room used daily that also needs specific design improvements is the bathroom. Showers, in particular, can pose a challenge to seniors, even if they have safety handles installed. For seniors with reduced mobility getting into a tub can be very dangerous. That is why you should consider investing in walk-in tubs that feature doors allowing seniors easier access.
The same goes for the height of the toilet. Adjusting the height will allow seniors with mobility issues to sit down and stand up from the toilet easier. The best part about it is that this upgrade does not cost much, not more than replacing the toilet with any other model.
Finally, smart toilets are also a great addition for seniors with mobility issues. They can help the user clean easily. You can buy a brand new smart toilet or buy a smart seat that can be fitted into any existing toilets.
Looking for a Reliable Beverly Hills Home Care Professional?
If your senior loved one plans on aging in your family home, they might need professional help even with all these upgrades installed. A Better Way in Home Care is a professional company referring trustworthy caregivers to seniors who need help with everyday tasks such as cleaning, transportation or companionship. Contact us now to find the perfect caregiver.