HOME MAKEOVERS TO HELP SENIORS ‘AGE-IN-PLACE’
Nearly everyone hopes to “age-in-place,” a term used by healthcare professionals to mean seniors remaining in their own homes, rather than moving to assisted living or otherwise having to move from their primary residence.
As health conditions and needs change, it is not always a matter of simple choice, but a serious decision that necessitates discussions among entire families.
Oftentimes changes to the home are required. In other words, the home must be "seniorized” for safety.
The following suggestions are timely for seasonal residents returning to our area, seniors returning from a hospital visit or a rehabilitation facility, and all seniors and families who wish to prevent accidents and hospital readmissions. Where possible, local resources are provided with contact information:
1. Safety First
• Fire proof your home
- Always have a working fire extinguisher in your kitchen
- Install and check batteries in all smoke alarms
- Refrain from using candles, and never leave them unattended
- Clean your lint trap with every dryer use
- Don’t overload electrical wires
• Install a carbon monoxide detector that sounds an alarm close to bedrooms and living rooms
• Update lighting throughout the home
- Use motion-detecting lighting
- Light all stairs, porches and entryways
- Use nightlights in bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways
• Establish an emergency escape plan in case of fire, storms, or other disasters
• Keep at least 5 days worth of bottled water and non-perishable foods available
• Consider a life-alert system and wear it
Call Life-Alert at 800-920-3410 or visit lifealert.com
2. Removing Hazards Around the Home
• Build a small ramp over main doorway entrance thresholds
• Remove throw rugs, especially when transitioning to a cane, walker or wheelchair
• Repair loose carpet or raised areas of flooring
3. Making Bathrooms Safer
• Install grab handles in bathrooms
Call Steve at Master Grab-bar, -302-644-4404 or visit Mastergrabbar.com/
• Place non-skid mats inside and outside your shower or tub and near the toilet and sinks.
• Use shower chairs and bath benches
Call Jack at Medtix, 645-8070 or medtix.com
- Have your bathtub converted to a walk-in shower
Call Fred at Tub-2-Shower 629-3792 or visit Tub2shower.net
4. Making Daily Activities Simpler
• Store household items on lower shelves so that you can easily reach them
• Use a reaching device that you can buy at any pharmacy or medical supply store
• If you have trouble seeing, purchase a phone with larger numbers
Clarity Products offers a large selection of amplified and large key phones.
Call 800-426-3738 or visit clarityproducts.com
• If you have to climb for something, use a step stool with handrails.
• Wear low-heeled, comfortable shoes that fit well and give your feet good support.
• Consider services that come to your home
In-home hairstyling by Traveling Trimmers -519-3620
These home makeover recommendations are an important first step to help seniors age in place. Visiting Angels, a company that provides caregivers to help people retain their independence, also suggests home care help.
From a few hours to 24/7 care, Angels” help with personal care, meal preparation, light housework, medication reminders, errands, shopping and appointments, and compassionate companionship.
Call for more information 302-329-9475 or visit visitingangels.com/sussexde