It is important for health and well being to have a sense of belonging and a place to call home. These needs in no way disappear as we age, and this often clashes with decreased independence. Our society attaches a stigma to old age, and moving into a specialized environment can feel like the end of life.
Some elderly make a voluntary transition when the time comes to retire, and move to be closer to their families, to a friendlier climate, or to a retirement community. Most continue to live in the same place where they’ve always lived – they want to stay where they feel safe and at home in a community where they know people, have familiar environments and stores, and a lifetime’s worth of memories.
Over 80 percent of older Americans want to stay in their current homes for the rest of their lives, but most homes aren’t designed for the needs of the elderly. Most older people also live in homes that are over 20 years old. The buildings have aged with the residents and grow more difficult to maintain with time.
Problems arise when the home environment no longer is safe. A house that is perfectly functional for someone who is 60 might have too many stairs or too slippery floors for someone who is 80.
To a certain degree, home modifications, technology, and home care can solve problems. It might for instance be possible to install portable ramps, timers for appliances and stove, handlebars to help keep balance, and similar.
Helpful tips on how to adapt a home for safe living
Adapting a house can seem overwhelming. It’s a good idea to evaluate current and future needs by going through the house room by room and seeing what you might need to change.
Things to consider can be installing grab bars in the bathrooms, changing cabinet doorknobs to a model easier to grab, marking stove controls so they’re easier to see, making sure kitchen counter height and depth are comfortable, or installing a thermostat on the shower to make sure the water comes out at a pleasant temperature.
Bigger changes can be making doorways wider, clearing space so a wheelchair can maneuver, moving light switches and electrical outlets so they’re accessible, and making sure the floors are even.
Long distance medical transportation services
The time can still come when living alone at home is no longer feasible, and many need to move to another state or across the country to be closer to family and friends. If this happens, call us for more information and a free quote – we have over 30 years’ experience with long distance medical transportation, and pride ourselves in providing comfort and reliability.
Our medically equipped coaches, experienced nurses, and professional drivers have transported hundreds of guests with arthritis, dementia, Parkinson’s, and many other medical problems.