Essential Home and Lifestyle Adjustments for Safe Aging in Place by Dylan Foster
Essential Home and Lifestyle Adjustments for Safe Aging in Place
by Dylan Foster
Aging in place is often a smart financial move, but it’s so much more than that. Choosing to live out your senior years in your own home has several mental, physical, and social benefitsas well. But the risk of household accidents, such as falls, can make seniors and their loved ones a little hesitant. Fortunately, basic preparations and preventive actions can secure your long and happy life at home. Here are a few essential strategies to stay safe and reduce your risk of falls as you enjoy your golden years in the place you love.
Make Home Modifications
Certain home modifications can help safeguard your life at home, preventing falls and improving your comfort despite any health changes you may face.
Decluttering and minimizingthe home are of utmost importance for anyone planning to age in place. Clutter can make it difficult — and even dangerous — for you to get around the home and accomplish your daily living tasks. So, sort through your possessions and sell, donate, throw away, or store things you don’t need anymore.
Rent a storage unit to house possessions you’re not ready to get rid of but don't have space for at home. You can make it easier on yourself and avoid injury by hiring movers to take your things to storage. Before booking a moving company, make sure you read reviews and compare local prices on websites likeHireAHelper.
While there are several health-related factorsthat can increase a senior’s risk of falling, about half of all falls are caused by environmental hazards. In fact, according to HomeAdvisor, 60 percent of senior falls occurin the home.
Inconsistent lighting throughout the home is one particular threat that can spell trouble for seniors. Since our eyes get more sensitive to lighting changes as we age, glare from the incoming sun or dimly lit hallways and staircases can become significant fall hazards. To remedy this, add sheer curtains to your windows for daytime use and increase thelighting in your homewith a combination of accent lighting, task lighting, and ambient lighting.
Install Helpful Features
Consider alsoinstalling featuresto make everyday tasks easier and safer. For instance, grab bars and a walk-in shower can reduce your risk of falls the bathroom where wet floors are a constant hazard. In the kitchen, addLazy Susansto your cupboards or install pull-out drawers so you can easily access items. Throughout the rest of your home, replace doorknobs with lever handles, secure non-slip rugs to the floor, and add handrails to your hallways.
Keep Your Body Resilient
In addition to home modifications, a few key lifestyle habits can keep your body strong and resilient to protect against injury.
Engage in Strength Training
While many seniors know that regular exercise is important for long-lasting vitality, too few participate instrength training. Strength training increases muscle mass and bone density — two very important things when it comes to maintaining mobility. Michigan State University recommends that seniors use weights, resistance bands, and even weighted objects like water bottles during theirworkouts. If you’re new to weight training, join a senior’s bodyweight or tai chi class for a gentle introduction.
Along with a good exercise routine, a healthy diet will support strong bones and muscles while reducing your risk of lightheadedness throughout the day. First of all, ensure you’re eating plenty of protein. According to AARP,recent researchsuggests that people over 65 may need to eat 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day to combat muscle loss.
It’s also crucial that you avoidnutritional deficienciesand blood sugar spikes since these can lead to dizziness. Simply making healthy food choices and eating a rainbow of colorful whole foods can help you manage your health for greater safety at home.
Aging in place is getting easier thanks to technological advancements and growing scientific knowledge surrounding senior health. This is great news because the majority of people would prefer to keepliving at homein their senior years. So, take some time to make the proper preparations so you can maintain your independence and quality of life for as long as possible.