Look at the challenges of moving. Realtors take a cut of the sale’s price. Movers, if needed, cost money. Packing supplies, repairs to pass state codes and sales requirements, and legal fees add up. When you factor in the cost of selling a home and moving with the cost of buying a new home, it’s not surprising so many elderly men and women want to age in place.
With aging in place, the neighborhood and home are familiar. Neighbors are known and possibly long-time friends. Favorite restaurants, stores, and services are already narrowed down. Often, the biggest obstacle to aging in place is the house itself.
These are the areas where most homes fall short.
Bathroom Fall Risks
Some of the most common falls in a bathroom occur while getting in and out of the bathtub or shower. Slippery wet tiles or linoleum flooring can lead to a fall. Making a bathroom accessible with grab bars in the shower/tub stall, outside the shower, and near the toilet is important.
Flooring could be changed to be less slippery. Some of the more modern vinyl planks are textured to help keep it from becoming slick when wet. Switching to walk-in shower instead of a bathtub also makes it easier to get in and out of a shower without falling.
Laundry Room Locations
Many older homes have laundry rooms in the basement. An unfinished basement often has a concrete wall and floor at the bottom of steep stairs. If a senior falls in that area, the injuries can be serious. Walking down the stairs while carrying a hamper or laundry bag adds to the fall risk.
It does take some rearrangement and it costs money to redo the plumbing and vents, but moving a laundry room to the kitchen or closet on the main level is smart. An apartment-sized stacked washer and dryer or the European-style washer and dryer in one machine can save space.
Wheelchair or walker users often cannot fit through a door that is narrower than 36 inches. It’s uncommon for doors to be that wide in an older home. Resizing doors requires the help of a contractor to make sure you’re not messing with the home’s support walls. Consider sliding barn-style doors or pocket doors if space is tight and there’s limited room to fully open the wider door.
Falls on stairs are another big factor with aging in place. Many stairs have a handrail on one side. You should add a second. Make sure stairs going outside and down the deck also have rails. Check that all rails are sturdy and not splintering.
Pair changes to the home with assistance from homecare services. Homecare allows your parents to have the help they need with housework, meals, transportation, personal care, bathing, reminders, and more. To learn more about our services available to them, make a call.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Indian Trail NC, please call the professional staff at Caring at Heart today at (704) 379-7510. Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail.