Allow Your Loved Ones to Age in Place with Home Remodeling

Allow Your Loved Ones to Age in Place with Home

There is no shortage of stories about senior citizens who put up resistance to leaving their homes. The emotional attachment, the comfort of a familiar place, and independence – all are arguments older Americans cite when asked why they don’t want to relocate. This is quite understandable, and even when this seems like a favorable option for some family members, it’s not the only one.

According to Rodney Harrell, director of livability thought leadership for AARP, out of 100 million homes across the country only about 1 percent of them are designed and outfitted for elderly people to safely and comfortably live. Fortunately, there are things that could be done to an elderly person’s home that will make staying in it easier for all parties involved – elderproofing.

What is elderproofing?

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Elderproofing is when modifications are made to a home to ensure it meets specific needs of the elderly residents living inside. Modifications can be as easy and quick as adding night lights and changing doorknobs. But, they can be more extensive, such as adding a stair lift for a stairway or renovating an entire bathroom to make it elder-friendly.

Universal Design

Home Matters, AARP, the AARP Foundation, Wells Fargo, the Home Depot Foundation and Dwell magazine sponsored a competition among designers and architects. All of these professionals were asked to create the home of the future. Many of the entries, including the winning one, incorporated a concept called universal design. In a nutshell, this means a home design that incorporates products and elements in such a way that it would be usable by most to all people – not just senior citizens, but for a wide range of ages and physical abilities.

Many of the features found in this type of home are ones that could be completed in a remodel of an older person’s home. Here are some updates for consideration:

  • Low or no threshold doorways
  • Wide doorways
  • Lever types of doorknobs and faucet handles
  • Lower countertops
  • Shower stalls without curbs
  • Open concept floor plan
  • Slip resistant floors
  • More windows
  • Lower placement of light switches

For a more complete list of renovations, check out this checklist found on the National Association of Home Builders website.

While the idea of updating a home can seem cost prohibitive, consider what it would cost to place a senior in an assisted living facility or nursing home. According to this 2011 article from AARP, an assisted living facility can cost around $40,000; a private room in a nursing home will run about $84,000. Both of these estimates are per year costs. While the cost of an update might be just as expensive, it is a one-time expense as opposed to an annual recurring one. If you loved ones are in need of quality healthcare consider finding options that allow your loved ones to stay in their homes.

David York Agency now has a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) credentialed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) on staff and can help you with elderproofing your home to ensure the safety of an elderly loved one. Call today at 718.376.7755 to discuss your situation and schedule a free consultation.

At David York Agency, we are committed to providing the personalized and dedicated care that people need as they age. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

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Elder Proofing a Senior’s Home

Simple falls can have catastrophic effects on the elderly leading to disabling conditions, extended hospital stays and even death. These falls can be prevented and a good caregiver can minimize any negative long term effects if one does occur.  With most falls occurring at home while doing mundane tasks, “elder proofing” homes becomes critical to those seniors that are able to stay in their homes. David York Home Healthcare Agency is intimately aware of what a safe living space for an elderly person should look like and can help set that up.  That is why our aides are instructed frequently during in-service training about safe environments for our elderly clients.

The National Institute on Aging has a handy article about making a home safe for the elderly. Tripping hazards from carpets, wires, and clutter need to be removed.  Grab bars in places like the shower, tub, and toilet as well as proper lighting often prove essential.

Here is a summary:

Stairways, Hallways and PathwaysHandicap-Shower

  1. Keep electric cords and wires next to the wall and tacked down.
  2. Affix all carpets and area rugs firmly to the floor.
  3. Arrange furniture so there are clear paths for walking.
  4. Make sure sofas and chairs are the right height for sitting and getting up.
  5. Don’t walk on wet, newly washed floors.
  6. Keep often used items in easy reach.
  7. Don’t stand on a table or chair.
  8. Have a reach stick (obtainable in hardware stores) for hard to reach items.
  9. Know where your pet is before sitting or standing so you don’t trip on them.
  10. Keep emergency numbers in large print near the telephone.

Living Areas

  1. Have handrails on both sides of the stairs.
  2. Make sure there is good lighting,
  3. Keep the walkway tidy.
  4. Check that the carpets are fixed firmly.
  5. Don’t use throw rugs or small area rugs

Bathrooms

  1. Grab bars for the tub, toilet and shower.
  2. Place non-skid mats, strips and carpets.
  3. Place nightlights.

Bedroom

  1. Put nightlights and light switches near the bed.
  2. Keep the telephone on the night table.
  3. Have all remote controls within reach.

Source: National Institute on Aging: AdPage: Falls and Fractures; September 2012

At David York Home Care Agency, we could provide direction as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one. David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly in New York in their homes and is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors.  We would be happy to discuss your case with you.  Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website.  You can also like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.