Your parents have been very clear, repeatedly – they do not want to move to a senior living community… at least not yet.
“An overwhelming majority of seniors want to remain in their homes as they age, and a new study shows they’re doing whatever it takes to make that possible,” said Mark Goetz, co-founder and president of Trail Ridge Home Care’s partner, the HomeCare Advocacy Network (HCAN). “The study, which was conducted by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, found that in 2020 and 2021, more than 1 million homeowners over age 65 made at least one home improvement to make their homes more accessible for those with limited mobility. In fact, older homeowners are now the fastest-growing age group when it comes to total home improvement expenditures.”
While some homes may require major renovations, others may only need a few modifications. Goetz recommends going room by room – looking for potential hazards or ways to make them more senior friendly.
- Add extra lighting to ensure the room is well-lit
- Move all cooking utensils to cabinets within easy reach
- Inspect smoke detectors at least every three months
- Invest in automatic shut-off devices for the stove and other appliances
- Install grab bars in the bath/shower and near the toilet
- Replace the standard toilet with a raised or high-profile toilet
- Add textured, non-slip strips to the shower/tub
- Invest in a shower chair
- Replace standard faucet handles with levers that are easier to use
- Install bright lighting and night lights
Living Room, Bedrooms and Hallways
- Clean up the clutter – magazines, books, extension cords and other items that may be tripping hazards
- Toss the throw rugs and tack down any loose carpet
- Add nightlights to help with guidance at after dark
- Replace standard doorknobs with lever handles
- Install (or tighten) handrails on both sides of each stairway
- Place light switches and nightlights at the bottom and top of the stairs
- Replace outside steps with ramps
“These small changes can make a big difference when it comes to a senior’s ability to remain safely in their home,” Goetz said. “However, home modifications alone may not be enough – particularly for seniors who live alone. They may eventually need a little help with everyday tasks like grocery shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping and personal care.”
HCAN caregivers are trained to provide everything from companionship to personal and Alzheimer’s care. Because every senior is unique, we work with families to develop a customized care plans to meet every senior’s specific needs.
“Families members can’t always be there to help, but we can be,” Goetz said. “Whether it’s a couple of hours a week or 24/7, our caregivers provide the services needed to help seniors age safely in their homes – because that’s where they really want to be.”
For more information about Trail Ridge Home Care services, visit TrailRidgeHomeCare.com.