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The Right Tools to Stay at Home

“Aging in place” is actually an official term, defined by the CDC as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and

comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” This means more than the comforts of home – it means retaining a sense of independence and ownership well into retirement, with private facilities for bathing and recreational activities. It also saves the expense of a long-term care facility.

According to AARP more than 85% of their members want to stay in their own homes. This means some modifications may need to be made to help them achieve that dream. Some modifications may include:

· Having a master bedroom and bathroom on the main level of the house

· Install lever style door handles instead of traditional round ones. They make the door easier to open from a seated position like a wheelchair

· Lowering the closet shelves for easy reaching. This works for small children and aging parents

· Widening your doorways to 36 inches

· Lots of lights using toggle switches rather than traditional ones

· Possibly add low thresholds or remove them for easy maneuvering

· Try to use hardwoods floors throughout house. Throw rugs are a huge fall risk. Carpeted rooms make it difficult for rollator walkers, knee scooters, and wheelchairs

In the bathroom:

· Lever style faucets

· Comfort height toilet

· Walk in shower with grab bars

· Grab bars around commode

· No scatter rugs

In the Kitchen:

· Lowered microwave for easy reach

· Sliding or pocket door for pantry with frequently used items on lower shelves

· Pull out cabinets and lazy Susan corner cabinets

The rest of the House:

· Use nonslip flooring, remove scatter rugs

· Use contrasting colors between walls and floors

· Make sure there are handrails at all stairs

Make your home universal for your living today and looking into the future!

With the right modifications, you can Age in Place in your home!

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