Home Improvements for Independent Living
Home Care in West Windsor NJ
Almost 90 percent of people over age 65 would rather remain at home as long as they’re able, and 80 percent of older Americans currently have plans to stay put, according to an AARP research report. But not everyone can stay in their home just as it is—some modifications or improvements may need to be made to accommodate an aging body.
Since you’re already providing some level of home care for them, why not talk with your parent about their level of fitness and what can be done to make it easier/safer for them. Here are some modification ideas.
- Bathrooms. Install handles inside the tub/shower area, and a non-skid mat or strips inside and a non-skid mat outside to eliminate slips and falls. A tub seat or walk-in shower unit may be useful. Install a moveable shower hear for those who must sit. Elevated toilet seats and grab bars by the commode can help if it’s difficult to squat, bend, sit, or stand. Find a way to store toiletries, first aid supplies and other bathroom necessities at waist level whenever possible. This eliminates the need for bending, stooping and stretching. (This is actually true of all rooms.)
- Kitchen. Replace higher cabinets with lower shelving or drawers. Frequently-used items should be most accessible. Use multi-level counter heights with open space beneath to allow for sitting or to accommodate a wheelchair. A flat surface stove makes the stove easier to clean and allows for the sliding of pots and pans instead of them needing to be lifted. Consider installing a wall oven, lowered for comfortable use and use a countertop range, again, lowered for ease of use. Raise the dishwasher so bending isn’t required for loading/unloading. Install a levered faucet.
- Other Rooms. Replace door knobs with level handles. Eliminate step thresholds to decrease the chances of falling. Build walk-in closets with multiple heights that allow easy reaching. Install electrical outlets at an easily accessible level. Install rocker-type light switches that are easier to use than the old-fashioned switches that flip up and down. Allow ample room to easily and safely maneuver between furniture and walls. Widen doorways and removing thresholds, if necessary, to accommodate a wheelchair. Install ramps if someone is using a walker or wheelchair. Stair lifts or an elevator can be installed to get from level to level in a multi-story home.
An AARP study showed that 70 percent of seniors have made at least one modification to their homes and half believed that the simple senior home improvements would allow them to stay in their homes for about 10 more years.
Paying for such modifications can be tricky. There are some HUD loans available, as well as local and state programs that may help seniors cover the cost of some of these safety improvements. Veterans may be eligible for certain loans or grant money through the Veteran’s Administration. And, as a last resort, low-interest loans or a reverse mortgage may be a consideration.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in West Windsor, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.