Now is the perfect time to start modifying your home, or at the very least, start thinking about it. Home modification is simply the process of making your home more accessible for you to continue ageing in place.
What is Ageing in Place?
A simple definition of Ageing in Place means that you can continue to live in the comfort of your own home with some level of independence, rather than in residential care.
With most seniors spending a lot more time in isolation, it’s important to make sure the safety of your home is optimised to reduce the number of hazards around your home to prevent potential injuries. So, whilst you have more time on your hands, it’s a good idea to understand what factors may influence the kind of home modifications you may need to create a safe and accessible home.
First things first, consider your current and future health needs.
Speak to a health professional to better understand your current and future health condition and how it may impact your mobility in the future. As you age, you may experience a series of physical changes including decreased mobility, decreased vision, lack of balance and reduced endurance which may increase your chances of falling.
Being aware of these changes will allow you to make the necessary modifications to accommodate for your level of ability.
With this in mind, let’s consider how these physical changes may impact the way you complete daily tasks and activities throughout your home.
Navigating your stairs
Access ramp installations are ideal for modifying your exterior stairs by allowing you to easily access your front or back door, without placing unnecessary strain on your body.
For indoor staircases, the StairSteady is ideal for those looking for an affordable and less invasive solution to a traditional stairlift, whilst also improving your mobility and reducing your risk of falling on stairs.
Using your toilet
Applying too much unnecessary pressure to your body when getting on and off the toilet, could result in muscle strain. Intervening with the installation of grab rails, or other bathroom modifications will reduce the risks associated with overstretching.
Navigating your bathroom
Whether you struggle to get in and out of your bathtub, or if your bathroom simply isn’t wheelchair accessible, you will need to modify your bathroom to reduce the risk of slips and falls that are far too common for seniors.
From grab rails to stepless showers to the location of common bathroom fixtures to maximise space, ELC Home Modifications can modify your bathroom to help you safely age in place.
Getting in and out of bed
If you find getting in and out of bed strenuous, you’re putting yourself at risk of over-stretching and straining. Assessing the available home modifications to make your bedroom safer, including grabrails or a ceiling hoist, can reduce your risk of injury.
As we age, showering becomes more difficult – and often anxiety-inducing because you’re more at risk of slipping on wet tiles. Installing a handheld shower or a stepless-shower unit can prevent slips by controlling where the water lands and removing the obstacles of shower steps and lips in a wet environment.
Accessing Kitchen Cupboards
When it comes to modifying your kitchen, you should ensure everything you need is within reach. This may mean adjusting the height of your benchtops and relocating common fixtures including ovens and microwaves to reduce the risks associated with overstretching.
Uneven flooring can not only cause you to trip, but it also makes it difficult to push wheeled equipment, like a wheelchair or walker through your home safely.
Navigating pathways and passageways with wheeled equipment
You should have ample room to navigate wheeled equipment down hallways, doorways and pathways, should you or your loved one require a wheelchair or walker in the future.
Home Modifications are crucial in reducing your risk of injury by removing hazards in your home, particularly if you’re ageing in place. However, it is important to note that planning ahead will ensure that as your lifestyle changes, your home will continue to cater for your changing needs.
If you don’t know where to start, our team at ELC Home Modifications can work with your occupational therapist or a loved one to provide you with a free home assessment to ensure to develop a customised and personalised home modification strategy for you.
Get in touch today!