By Hazel Bridges - www.agingwellness.org
Staying safe at home is a huge concern for most older adults after retirement, even when they’re in good health. When it comes to making sure you can prevent falls and other injuries, it’s important to remember that those things can occur even when you’re feeling good, and that prevention will go a long way toward helping you keep your body healthy. Aging in place is a popular option for older adults who are able-bodied, but it will be necessary to make some changes to your home and possibly your lifestyle if you want to continue to live at home after retirement.
Staying active is a great way to help prevent accidents. The more you can build up your strength and maintain good balance and stamina, the more you’ll be able to do around the house. Keeping your mobility up is important when you’re living without assistance. It’s also a good idea to make some alterations to the rooms in your home to ensure that they’re safe enough for your daily activities. These don’t have to be major renovations, and many of them are DIY projects that aren’t too costly or time-consuming.
Here are several considerations you can make when you want to age in place.
Falls are one of the biggest causes of injury to seniors in the US, and they can be caused by many factors. From a lack of balance and stability due to an illness or weak muscles to vision impairment, there are several ways you could fall at home. Fortunately, there are just as many ways to prevent them. Because the bathroom is an especially dangerous place for many older adults, this is one of the first rooms you should start making modifications. Simple changes include placing a non-slip mat on the floor, installing an elevated toilet seat, and adding lighting to aid your vision. Grab bars (which can be purchased for under $15) are also essential and may be covered by insurance depending on which Medicare Advantage plan you have. If you’re not able to make these modifications on your own, you can hire a contractor to complete the work. In Tulsa, handyman contractors charge an average of $426 per project.
Make Some Lifestyle Changes
There are several simple lifestyle changes you can make that will help ensure your safety at home. Exercising every day is crucial since a good workout can help boost your ability to balance, strengthen muscles, and keep your heart pumping strong. You can also declutter your home and get organized since clutter is a common cause of falls and other accidents for older adults. Think about some simple ways you can change your routine for the better.
People often experience decreased vision after a certain age, making even their own homes potentially dangerous places. You can keep yourself safe by increasing visibility in dim areas, including adding lighting to hallways, stairways, and closets and making sure your front walk and porch are properly lit. You might also consider using contrasting paint colors on some walls in your home to help items stand out.
Stay in Touch
It’s important for older adults to stay in touch with friends and loved ones, for various reasons. Not only does it keep loneliness and depression at bay, but it can also help you contact someone quickly in case of an emergency. If you don’t have a smartphone, consider buying one and get familiar with the apps and services that will make your life a little easier.
Staying safe at home can mean many things for different people, so it’s important to look for the best ways to keep your mind and body in good health. If you need help paying for modifications, check your health plan, and look online for information about grants and special loans just for seniors. With a little preparation, you can make your retirement years as comfortable as possible.
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Summer Jackson, the author of this Age-Friendly Blog is an advocate for aging, and she insists that we all can live an unprecedented quality of life as we age. She believes that accomplishing this requires educating people of all ages, and involving people, organizations, and community leaders in a shared process. Read on. You will find her posts to be insightful, fun, and inspiring for people of all ages...
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