Some senior centers may look inviting with their pools, amenities, coffee bars, and dancing classes, but the majority of seniors want to live at home. 76% of Americans over the age of 50 prefer to live at home during their golden years, and do not want to live in a senior facility.
When seniors do end up moving it is usually not by choice. High real estate taxes, ongoing maintenance costs, and ,living in a neighborhood where they have to depend on a car forces them to move away from home. The real estate market has taken this strong desire to age at home serious and it is now a trend to help seniors update or purchase homes to suit their needs.
The assistance of architects and health care workers who are educated in accessible designs for seniors is also widely available for these projects. Many programs are developed today enlisting the help and resources of these groups to help seniors find a way to age at home. There is also increased availability of services such as food and medication deliveries as well as transportation to appointments.
For most people, planning future living situations doesn’t occur until necessary, such as after a fall or stroke. Experts advise that adults should start planning this long before it is a necessity and it will be a less stressful event. Redesigning a home to make it more easily accessible is not as expensive as one may think, and the sooner you get started on it, the more time you have to pay for the changes.
There are four main steps advised to redesign a home for senior living.
- Put essential spaces on the ground floor, including bedroom
- Create a zero-step entry
- Improve kitchen and bathrooms for easier use and movement
- Ensure there is good interior air circulation
In addition to this it is important to change the design to minimize falling. Falls are common among elderly but can be prevented with a simple redesign. Use horizontal rather than vertical storage spaces, remove area rugs, electrical cords, and clutter, and switch out carpeting for hardwood floors. It is also beneficial to paint in lighter colors to help poor eyesight that accompanies old age.
Specialized Home Products
Changes to the design of the home is one step. You also need to invest in several aging-in-place tools to make living at home easier and more comfortable. Some of the best products to consider include:
- Dementia Day Cycle Clock
- One Button Dementia Radio
- Wander Security Alarm
- Automatic stove shut-off devices
- Motion sensor lighting
Even with the upgrading of a home and purchase of these products, getting older comes with mental and physical degeneration. As the body declines with age, it will become difficult for a senior to perform daily activities. Rather than move them to a senior living facility, consider getting a helping hand to be at the house. There are a number of resources and programs available today to support seniors living at home so they can live and age where they want.