Living out our lives in our own home environment is the preferred goal of most seniors today. The high cost of institutional care is a driving force in challenging people to reconsider their options as they age. Finding ways to improve our homes, and make them safer for any generation of life, does not always need to be complicated and expensive. Here are a few things to consider during a home safety review:
- Be aware of trip hazards! Exposed wires or curled carpet ends can be dangerous to someone who’s eyesight may be deteriorating. Move wiring away from normal travel paths in a house, cut or replace curled carpet ends, move to the side any objects restricting clear walking paths through the home.
- Be sure any steps have a handrail or grab bar a person can hold onto while moving up or down these steps. Gammie HomeCare Maui now offers grab bar installations!
- Have a series of small night lights activate (often in bathrooms) when sleeping. These can be really helpful if a person gets up and attempts to navigate in the dark.
- Be sure your bed height allows you to firmly put your feet on the ground when getting in or out of bed.
If considering remodeling your home, planning ahead can really help! Ideas to consider might include:
- Make any doorway at least 30” wide.
- Avoid creating steps inside a home whenever possible.
- Consider installing a rollin capable shower system in a bathroom remodel.
- If living in a two story house, be sure at least one bedroom and one bathroom is available on the ground floor.
Much money can be saved by incorporating concepts known today as “universal design” when building or remodeling. It’s so much MORE expensive to have to rip out a 26” wide door and replace it with a 30” door than just putting in a 30” door in the first place! Good planning and common sense can go a long way in keeping our homes safe for everyone.