What is Aging in Place?
Aging in place is pretty much just what it sounds like. It means that rather than move to a nursing or assisted living facility, people are opting to stay in their home during their golden years. Aging in Place has become something of a hot topic as baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are retiring. Because baby boomers account for a large portion of the American population and have impressive spending power, solutions for seniors living at home are in demand more now than ever. In a 2013 issue of Kitchen and Bath Design News Magazine designers said they are doing more kitchen remodels than ever for “older” clients who wanted to make their homes more accessible.
Ten Tips for Aging in Place
There are a few things you and your family can do to make aging at home safer and easier.
- Discard all throw rugs. They’re a tripping hazard for everyone!
- Declutter your home to ensure there are clear pathways, especially between the bedroom and bathroom.
- If possible, widen your doorways now before you may need the assistance of wheelchair or walker. Thirty six inches should be wide enough.
- If you’re planning on retooling the exterior of your house, the experts recommend that you try to devise an entry without stairs. It needn’t look like a handicap ramp; if there’s space, the approach can simply be a nice slope to the doorway.
- Invest in a zero-clearance shower.
- Re-think your appliance placement. Dishwashers can be raised and microwaves stored in drawers adapted for just that purpose.
- Invest in new lighting fixtures. Our eyes change as we get older, so be sure you have the optimal lighting for your lifestyle.
- Get organized. Clean out those closets and then buy some bins and baskets to make storage easy and simple.
- Make your lawn and garden area as low maintenance as possible. Consider raised beds, hearty and easy to grow plants, and smooth walkways.
- Take steps to age in place now so you don’t have to worry about major changes and remodels as you get older.
One More Tip
Just because you’re aging in place, don’t let that make you feel old! Don’t think of these steps as a necessary part of aging, think of them as creating the beautiful, stress-free home you always wanted!