Within the next few years, tens of millions of Baby Boomers will reach retirement age. Some may continue to work well into their senior years while others may have already retired or may be making plans to retire soon. Many of these individuals have plans to remain independent and to live in their own homes for as long as possible in their retirement years, and if you are included in this group, now is the ideal time to make your home safer and more secure for your use in the coming years. By following a few key steps, you can decrease the risk of in-home injuries in your older years.
Possible Hazards for seniors
Many senior citizens are injured in their own homes each year, and some of these injuries result in hospitalization, disablement and even death in certain cases. As you get older, factors like decreasing vision, stability and mobility create added challenges and risks to you, but you can make changes around your home to accommodate these changes in your own body. The first step involves identifying what those hazards are. Uneven and slick surfaces are significant hazards. You should identify areas of your home that may result in tripping or slipping in your later years, such as areas where your tile meets your carpet or where you may regularly need to reach for items that are just beyond your comfortable reach. Other hazards may involve tight spaces that can be more difficult to maneuver around as you get older.
You can make changes to your home now or work with a contractor to make these changes. Possible changes include adding a tacking strip in the area where the carpeting meets your hard floor surface, replacing swinging doors with pocket doors and adjusting the height of shelves for easy access. You may also consider upgrading your appliances from front-loading dryers and washing machines to top-loading models as this will decrease your need to bend or stoop over. In addition, add safety features like hand rails and bench seats to your bathroom to decrease your risk of falling in these areas.
The fact is that you may not need these features added to your home now or even for several years. However, most people do not think about making their home senior-friendly until after they have had their first in-home accident. By taking these steps now to make your home safer and more secure, you will decrease the likelihood of having accidents in your home.
Lyndsi Decker is a freelance writer. Right now she promoting at home health care with Assisting Hands and Austin Home Health care. She often blogs about family and enjoys spending time traveling with her husband and two children.