Making home improvements can help people live more independently as they age.
Houses require a lot of TLC.
At the minimum they require maintenance.
People often also choose to make renovations to the home by updating flooring, bathrooms, and kitchens.
These improvements often increase the value of the home.
According to a recent US News and World Report article titled “6 Home Improvements to Help You Age in Place,” some renovations can add value to quality of life as well.
Research indicates 77 percent of adults age 50 and older prefer to age in their home.
One-third of the adults surveyed who are age 50 and older indicated their homes would require renovation for such a goal to become a reality.
The price tag for these home renovations can be quite steep.
Fortunately, there are many low-cost steps homeowners can take to improve the safety of their homes.
What are these?
Because eyesight grows weaker with age, poor lighting can create opportunities for trips, falls, and injuries.
Simply installing sensors to trigger lights to turn on when a room or hallways is entered can protect against accidents.
Install Stability Bars.
When people lose their balance, injures usually result.
To prevent falls, bars can be put in high trafficked areas like kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms.
Place Slip-Resistant Floor Mats on the Ground.
Some flooring is slicker than other flooring, especially when wet.
These include vinyl, wood, and tile.
When in kitchens, entryways, or bathrooms, water can quickly make these surfaces more slippery and prone to causing falls.
Non-slip mats can reduce these dangers.
Some rooms could benefit from installing carpet.
Because carpet is not ideal in kitchens or bathrooms, floors can have finishes applied as part of home renovations to reduce the slickness.
Add a Shower Seat.
Showers can be quite precarious.
The presence of running water and soaps make surfaces extra slippery.
By using a shower seat, older adults can reduce the risk of losing balancing while bathing.
Do not forget the “grab bars,” while you are at it.
Secure Home Fixtures.
Door handles, stairway railings, and rugs can become loose over years of use.
By securing screws and nails more tightly or using non-skid pads under rugs, accidents can be prevented.
Clutter and electrical cords can cause “trips,” and not the fun kind.
Simply decluttering and organizing can help protect against falls without costly home renovations.
Although you may not need to implement all of these suggestions, using just a few can make your home safer as you age.
Reference: US News and World Report (Oct. 26, 2022) “6 Home Improvements to Help You Age in Place”