Modifying homes and making simple renovations often make private residences safer and more accessible to those who make up the elderly community. A big trend with senior care in Phoenix is “aging in place”, or remaining at home, as opposed to entering an assisted living or nursing home care facility. This is often more comfortable for seniors, who prefer to stay in surroundings that are familiar to them.
According to a recent study, a whopping 75 percent of remodeling companies reported an increase in requests for aging-in-place renovation work. This trend is likely to grow as the baby boomer generation begins to retire and the senior population gradually swells.
One popular renovation is installing lever-style door handles for people who suffer from arthritis. The ability to open a door by turning a door knob is an act many healthy people take for granted. Arthritis makes it painful to perform the same task. A simple solution to this is installing a lever style doorknob. The good news is there are many arthritis-friendly door latches on the market today. A professional elder care assistant can suggest models that tend to work the best.
Another popular home modification is addressing the problem of slippery floors. Seniors who suffer from osteoarthritis, especially in their knees, are much more likely to slip and fall, even when performing basic household tasks. These falls can lead to serious injuries, so it is of utmost importance to alleviate any risk factors. It is helpful to have wood or tile floors replaced with carpet, which is significantly more slip resistant. For those who use walkers, a low pile carpet is advised, as a high pile flooring can often trap the feet of the walker. If replacement is not an option, tile or wood flooring should be covered with slip-resistant materials, including non-skid rugs. All the sands and dust being tracked in from those Arizona winds even add to the hazard of slipping and falling on a hardwood floor so highly consider carpets or rugs for your home in Sun City or Phoenix.
For elderly arthritis patients, climbing stairs or even a slight elevation change can be painful, difficult, and potentially dangerous. While it is ideal for seniors to stay on the lowest floor of their home, that is not always a possibility. When this is the case, a few simple modifications can make stair climbing much safer. First, make sure to remove any rugs or furniture from the base of the stairs, as these can be tripping hazards. Ensure that the stairwell is well-lit since this alleviates the danger of a spill due to poor visibility. It also helps to hire a general contracting company to install handrails on both sides of the staircase. While handrails provide a sturdy surface to grip onto, some seniors may still feel uncomfortable climbing stairs. These concerns must be taken very seriously. For seniors who have an especially difficult time with elevations, consider installing a chair lift. Many renovation companies can help to suggest the best model based on the home’s layout.
Safety when bathing is also a big concern for the elderly. Many homes are equipped with bathtubs, which are great for relaxation purposes, but can pose problems as it can be difficult to get in and out of them. Step-in showers with a low entry point help to alleviate this issue. Metal grab bars installed in the shower and adjacent to the toilet can also help to prevent falls.
Redesigning a kitchen can also be a great help for the aging population. For those with arthritis, renovation companies may lower cabinets so that senior clients do not have to reach high or bend down to access food and preparation items. Dishwashers and sinks can also be raised or lowered for people with back pain.
Renovating for the elderly does not have to be over the top or expensive. Often, it only requires simple changes, not major overhauls, to make aging at home both safer and easier. With a little creativity, many spaces in the home can be retrofitted and redesigned with the greatest of ease. The ideas outlined above will ensure that the aging community isn’t living with pain, and subjecting themselves to potentially dangerous situations when performing their day to day tasks.