Are You Planning to Age in Place? Learn More About Creating a Safer Home Environment
A recent study showed that there are roughly 53 million people in the United States that live with some type of disability. Limited mobility is considered to be the most common issue associated with these disabilities. Due to experiencing limited mobility, roughly 6.8 million Americans use assistive devices such as wheelchairs and medical lift chairs.
The American Association of Retired Persons, along with the National Conference of State Legislatures, report that 90% of the adults over 65 want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Since older adults will comprise about 20% of the United States’ population by 2030, many of these individuals are making modifications to their homes so that they will be able to age in place.
HomeAdvisor’s “2016 Aging in Place Report” reveals that 48% of the homeowners within the over-55 age bracket had pinpointed their bathroom as the first room to modify. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that almost 235,000 people sustain an injury every year in the bathroom. As a result, bathroom accessibility products such as grab bars are recommended. These can be located in and around the shower and/or bathtub as well as by the commode.
The HomeAdvisor’s report also discussed the types of projects that service professionals handled for individuals that were planning to age in place. In addition to installing the aforementioned grab bars, they also constructed entryway wheelchair ramps.
Aluminum or wooden wheelchair ramps and wheelchair ramps for stairs can both assist with making a safer environment for individuals that experience mobility issues. Medical lift chairs and other types of vertical lifts for home and vehicle use can also enhance mobility.
Since more than half of the falls that occur with older adults happen while they’re at home, it’s important to have a safety expert assess the overall environment. In many cases, simple measures can be taken in order to prevent someone from tripping and/or falling. This might include taping down rugs, rearranging furniture, and installing grab bars throughout the house and by the patio steps and doors. When these and other safety measures are taken, then older adults have a greater chance to age more comfortably in place. References.