Did you know that falls are the leading cause of death due to injury in those 65 and older? According the CDC, 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls; 40% of those hospitalized for hip fracture do not return to independent living and 20% will die within a year. These disturbing facts prove that falls and the injuries that result are one of the most substantial health threats for older adults. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take now to ensure your home will be a safe place for you and your loved ones in the years to come.
Educating yourself and your family members about what your future may hold health-wise is the first step. Learning about what your future needs could be will help tremendously later on down the road. Talking to your doctor, a financial planner, and your family is a great way to get prepared.
After you have a clear understanding of what your needs will be as you age, you can start building a plan. This plan might include goals such as making financial and legal preparations, deciding where you want to live in the next phase of your life and talking with your family about your wishes. Having those conversations now is more important than you might realize. Once these decisions are made, it’s time to evaluate your home and the changes that need to be made for easy aging in place.
This step includes taking the necessary actions to get your home prepared for a safe future. Choosing “aging in place” amenities can greatly prevent the risk of dangerous falls.
Here are some of the amenities that we suggest to clients when designing for Aging in Place homes:
- Open kitchens and floor plans
- Transition-less shower stalls
- Wide doors and entry ways (to accommodate for a walker or wheelchair)
- Sliding pocket doors
- Additions to create single level living space
- Stair lifts
- Wheelchair access ramps
- Shower stall seating, grab bars, and lower placement shower wands
- Toilet seat risers
- Step-in tubs
- Kitchen cabinet pull-out shelving
- Anti-scald faucets
If you have questions or need help preparing for aging in place, here is a great website with tons of information and helpful resources on the topic: www.ageinplace.org.
Of course, we are always here to help if you are interested in designing your home for aging in place, or installing aging in place amenities. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!