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Aging in Place – How to Keep Your Home and Yourself Safe

Whether you’re in the middle of retirement or just getting older, there are some things you can do to ensure a safe and happy future in your home. In addition to making minor renovations and installing safety devices, you should develop a plan of action in an emergency.

Make minor renovations

Whether you are an independent or dependent senior, making minor home renovations while aging in place can ensure your home is safe for you and your loved ones. While you might not feel comfortable doing extensive renovations, consider small changes that can make your home more accessible. For instance, make the doorknobs easier to use. This can improve accessibility while also enhancing your style.

Despite the costs associated with home renovations, many older adults want to remain in their homes as they age. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you age in place. Home modifications can improve accessibility and help you maintain your independence longer. Some changes are relatively inexpensive, while others require significant renovations. No matter the scale or cost, making these modifications can prevent injury, the need to hire caregivers, and the need to move.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) certifies aging-in-place specialists. These individuals have received specialized training in barrier-free living environments. Their fees are paid hourly, per visit, or by the project.

Install safety devices

Installing safety devices when aging in place will help you live safely in your home and reduce the chances of accidents. Safety devices can include smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, deadbolt locks, and supplemental heating systems. Ask your CAPS contractor for recommendations on which devices you should install.

Plan for an emergency

Planning for an emergency is essential, especially if you live alone or with someone who is not always in the exact location as you. It would help if you learned your own needs and those of others and included them in your plan. Also, ensure that the homecare agency or caregiver you are working with has an emergency plan. This will make your life easier if you evacuate the home due to a disaster.

The emergency plan should include a plan for communications, including a phone call chain and group texting. This will allow you to notify everyone you know about an emergency. It should also include current numbers for local friends and neighbors. When possible, keep the phone numbers of the people you know close by in case you need help.

When planning for an emergency, remember that aging adults have specific needs. For example, they may need more assistance with everyday tasks than younger people do. This is why it is critical to creating a support system customized to their needs. This network could include friends, family members, personal attendants, and co-workers. It is ideal to have at least three people available at different locations.

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