“No, No, We Won’t Go!” Sound familiar? Your parents sing this chant as they refuse to move to an updated, safer living environment. Worried about their safety, you want them in an environment which supports a variety of mobility options and reduces their fall risk. Now what? First find out what they want. They may be willing to make changes to their home if it means maintaining independence, control and dignity, the very things people often lose when they move to assisted living. The good news is that many people can age in place, in their beloved homes. Options include renovating with aging in place in mind and bringing Lincoln caregivers in, when they are needed. Here are changes to make to the living environment for long-term comfort and accessibility.
- Install handrails on both sides of all steps, indoors and out
- Secure carpets and area rugs with double-sided tape or mesh
- Install easy to grasp “c” or “d” shaped handles for drawers and cabinet doors
- Use brighter light bulbs that don’t produce excessive glare
- Install night lights
- Add reflective, nonslip tape on all non-carpeted stairs
- Install lever handles on all doors
Universal design standards for a remodel (or new construction)
- At least one no-step entry into the house through a main door
- Entryway doors 36 inches wide; interior doors 34-36 inches wide; passageways 42 inches wide
- Light controls, electrical outlets and thermostats easily reachable by a person in a seated position.
- A 3-ft wide corridor free of hazards and steps that connects all the rooms on the main floor
- A bedroom, kitchen, entertainment area and full bathroom with plenty of space to maneuver, on the main floor
- Reinforced bathroom walls that allow for the addition of grab bars.
n the Kitchen:
- Side-by-side refrigerator; easy-access kitchen storage, including pull out shelves, adjustable height cupboards and turntables
- Multi-level kitchen countertops with open space beneath so a person can work while seated
In the bathroom:
- Low or no-threshold stall showers with a built-in bench or seat.
- Non-slip floors, including in the bathtub or shower
- Raised, comfort-level toilets
- Bathroom door opens inward, making wheelchair access easier
- Shower fixture with a hand-held wand
- Raised, front-loading washer and dryer
- Windows that require minimal effort to open and close
- Covered entryways or porches for protection from rain or snow
- Task lighting directed to a specific surface or location that will benefit from better illumination
- Floors that are not too shiny (do not generate glare)
- Lighting on rocker switches
- Lighting which can be adjusted to many levels (dimmer switches)
Home Care Assistance’s Care Managers are available to help evaluate the need for home safety modifications and to explain options for home care in Lincoln. Call us today, at 402-261-5158. We’re changing the way the world ages.
Thanks to AARP.org for portions of this list.