Monday, September 17, 2012

Barrier Free Living Tips For All Seniors



What is the number one rule seniors give when asked why they want to stay living within their own home?  Would you be surprised if I told you the main reason is so that they do not want to live with anyone or anywhere that they aren’t living by their own rules. If you or your loved one is in that group of seniors looking to stay independent and continue to live by their own rules this article will give you some insight on changes to consider in the home.  

It is important to consider all aspects that will affect the quality of life individuals lead in regards to their safety, comfort and accessibility given that their mobility will become limited and may need to accommodate a walker or wheelchair in the future.

Entryways and thresholds are an important aspect in getting around and in and out of the house.  First consider the entrance to the home.  Are there steps that present an obstacle?  If so how many steps are there?  A fair amount of aging adults add a wheelchair ramps on to existing porches to ease the entry and exiting of the home.  Aluminum handicap ramp installers can add ramps on to most an existing space to add safety to coming and going once mobility is limited to wheelchairs, walkers or just to ease the wear knees take using steps.  

Look at the entry to the garage and the amount of room for exiting the vehicle.  An automatic garage door opener should be put into place for ease of use and security.  Having a garage that is accessed via remote allows for the senior to enter the garage without exiting the car and then close the garage before exiting the car.  This offers security and convenience to aging adults.

Another space to consider is the bathroom.  So many age in place modifications can take place to make the bathroom a safer place for individuals loosing mobility and muscle control.  Grab bars are an essential in the shower and around the toilet area.  If possible a barrier free shower should be installed that allows access without having to step over a barrier.  Also increased toilet height makes it easier to get on and off of the toilet for individuals with weaker muscles.

Bedrooms are a place where extra space and a minimalistic approach to furniture should be taken.  A bed with ample space on either side and of the bed to get in and out easily and have room for walkers and wheelchairs once they are needed, if they are needed.  Make sure lighting is well within arm’s reach and that the closet and drawers have pulls which allow them to be easily opened.  

Check the outside of the house as well.  Make sure lawn care is easily maintained or hire a company that can come in and take care of these jobs when it becomes too much to handle and take care of properly.  In a recent study taken by the AARP, eighty two percent of individuals want to remain within the comfort of their own homes for as long as they possibly can.  If you or someone you love wants to stay living in their home these tips and more can make the home the safest possible place for aging.

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