Most seniors want to live independently for as long as they can. Moving into a nursing home or assisted living center, or moving in with children or other relatives, may make sense for any number of reasons, but one must take into account the senior's self-esteem. Very few seniors are comfortable in situations where they feel they are a burden on someone else, either financially or logistically. In the United States, over 90 percent of those who own their own homes want to "age in place."
There are various ways to modify a house to make it safer or more accessible to a senior who is beginning to lose easy mobility or who already suffers from physical limits. Modifications can sometimes be problematic; Many seniors will be living in homes that were built decades ago, well before builders were thinking about design considerations for the elderly. We might not think twice about a narrow doorway or a staircase, but for a person with physical limitations, these can be impassable barriers.
In order to determine whether a house can be appropriately appropriated, do a room-by-room assessment, taking into account safety and accessibility issues. There are several detailed safety checklists available online that address issues such as electrical supply, electrical appliances, smoke detectors, and the like; Many of these are common-sense issues, such as keeping electrical cords close to walls wherever possible and ensuring that circuits are not overloaded. For an older house, consider having a licensed electrical inspector come over and ensure that the system is safe and up to code.
Is everything in the house accessible? A senior with restricted mobility will likely not able to access the highest shelves in a closet or cabinet, so be sure that only sold-items are stored there. If most of the home's storage space is inaccessible, you may need to add additional storage space. And all plugs and switches should be easily reachable. Current code specifes the proper placement of plugs and switches, but older homes may have these in odd places.
If the senior will continue to cook in the kitchen, then this is an important room to check thoroughly. Are all the cabinets easy to reach? The top shelves may be inaccessible, so put commonly used items on lower shelves. Are the countertops at a comfortable level? If they are too high to work on comfortably, they may need to be lowered. This will likely involve installing at least some new cabinetry. Are the stove controls easy to manipulate? You can install a device that will automatically turn off an electric stove, via a timer or motion detector. Such automatic switch-off devices are not yet available for gas stoves, so if you have gas, you might consider switching to electric. Also, make sure that the range hood completely covers the stove top and effectively sucks out all the cooking smoke. If the hood is too small, quantities of smoke may escape into the kitchen and the rest of the house, creating …