The National Institute on Aging has released some new information on steps you can take to make your home safer if you’re considering aging in place. These are things you can do now so that as you get older your house is ready to be as safe as it can be. If you or a loved one are already at the stage of needing your home to become safer, these steps can also be taken with very little disruption to your day to day activities.
Here are four steps you can take now to improve the usability of your house as you age in place:
1. Remove all area rugs: Area rugs can be a slipping or tripping hazard which can lead to a fall and worse yet, broken bones. Make sure any flooring is secured to the ground so you don’t trip and fall.
2. Replace your sink and door handles: Fancy decorative sink and door handles are a nice touch to make you home feel elegant, but they are not always functional. Replacing these handles will make aging in place safer and easier.
3. Use night lights: If you need to get up in the middle of the night and move around your home, the safest thing you can do is install night lights. If you don’t want them on all the time you can install motion activated night lights that will turn on when you wake up.
4. Add no slip strips to your hard floor surfaces: Hardwood and tile floors can become slippery. No slip strips or mats can help alleviate this issue.
It is never too early to start planning if you think you’re going to age in place or if a loved one is getting to that age. While some of these changes may not be as aesthetically pleasing to you, they could ultimately save you the hassle of being injured or worse.