Are you ready to Age in Place?
Growing Older at Home
“There’s no place like home as Home is where the heart is.” We all love our home and hope to live in it for the rest of our lives as we age gracefully into our twilight years. Our population is changing, and people are aging, and living more independently. Seniors, veterans, and older persons with disabilities are choosing to reside in their own residence rather than live in assisted-living facilities. This is true as tasks that were once second nature to them can become difficult due to certain medical conditions that makes it challenging to perform daily living activities. Moving to a senior living community or an assisted living facility is the next best option for elderly parents currently and this may not be the choice place they wish to spend their remaining years. ‘Aging in place’ is the new buzzword which is gaining popularity and is the hot topic when it comes to a preferred option of living for the elderly. To put it simply - Aging in Place is when a person lives and ages in a residence of their choice, for as long as they can. It is a great way for them to maintain their independence and freedom, help improve their quality of life, and to be happy in familiar surroundings. However, promoting the “Aging in place” concept needs a good plan that focuses on the quality of life covering the aged persons, their home, finances, care, and other items that needs to be created as early as possible.
Minimise the hurdles and provide barrier free home remodelling
Today’s homeowners are looking for homes that are safer, easier to move around, and those that provide a comfortable, barrier-free environment. To create the Aging in place concept, the priority is to minimise the hurdles to improve movement within the home for seniors. Questions need to be asked about the health and mobility conditions of the person before the remodelling of the home can take place.
Aging in Place Access and Manoeuvring Ideas
Creating an open floor plan by knocking down a few walls for a spacious layout and easy flow between rooms is a popular renovation choice. Preferably a single storey living is advisable and there should be no steps between rooms where possible. The floors should be slip resistant and advisable to have colour and texture changes to indicate surface levels. Widening the entrances and doing away with interior doors wherever possible can facilitate easy movement within the home especially if there is a need to use wheelchairs. If the home is carpeted, then removing them with smooth hard flooring will make the movements hazard free. Adequate lighting is an important aspect to consider for the elderly to move around safely. Low lighting is hard on the eyes and reduces clear vision, which can increase the chance of tripping. Consider lighting in work areas, closets or other areas that need a little bit more light.
Accessorize wisely: Around the home, the electrical outlets should be at a height of 18 to 24 inches. There must be easy-to-use door levers, good-grip drawer pulls and quick-turning faucets. This is because grabbing or twisting a doorknob may become difficult in later years, especially when the joints become weaker, or due to chronic conditions such as arthritis. If there are stairways, then it is advisable to install railings.
Are you ready to Age in Place?
People spend more time in their bedroom compared to other areas of the home and so it makes sense that it be the focus of some substantial effort if you are going to remodel the home. Here is some great aging in place bedroom ideas to make the room more usable (for everyone), comfortable and safer for you as you grow older.
The best location would be on the main level of your home for easy access. Getting in and out of bed can become a real issue as you grow older and installing safety handles/rails on the bed to allow easier access and reduce the potential for falling. For extreme comfort, an adjustable electric bed from Germany is recommended. This unique lifestyle electric reclining bed is made of wood, with fine workmanship giving it the classic look and feel. With this luxurious bed you can feel the warmth as you snuggle in and take control of your sleeping position to suit your requirements and preferences. What a perfect way to take a nap or watch your favourite TV shows. A wonderful addition to any bedroom - simple, strong, and stylish. With a mattress specifically designed to suit the natural curves and contours of your body, this bed is designed for lifestyle use.
One cannot neglect having a bedroom working phone in case there is a need to call for help. If a handphone is unavailable, then having a working phone beside the bed is important in case there is a need to call for help.
Adding extra light in the bedroom is critical to maintaining a safe home environment and it also increases a person’s feeling of well-being. Low light inhibits vision and increases the probability of tripping.
Aging in Place Kitchen Ideas
The kitchen is always a happy place for families to gather around and making changes for aging in place in the kitchen space can greatly increase its usability and the safety of those that live there. For a start the kitchen should be located on the main level of the home. Kitchen appliances should be selected to display information clearly, have convenient functions and are easy to use. They should be relocated to assist the elderly and reduce the strain where necessary. For example, adjusting the height and/or location of the sink to suit the needs can really impact the experience in the kitchen. If a person is in a wheelchair leaving some space beneath the sink is advisable for easy access. A microwave to be placed at counter height or in the wall. Here are more ideas to be introduced for kitchen aging in place.
- Making the cabinets lower with pull out shelves to reduce the strain of bending and reaching the back. For upper cabinets adding pull down shelves will be useful.
- Incorporate an anti-scald device to keep people from getting burned.
- Make sure any water filtering devices are easily reached by everyone.
- Electric cooktop with level burners and front controls
- Lever-style door and faucet handles
- Open shelves for greater accessibility
Aging in Place Bathroom Ideas
The location of the bathroom should be near the bedroom, and common areas as space is the man criteria to accommodate someone in a wheelchair around the toilet, bathtub, or shower stalls. Having the toilet at the proper height can make a great difference in the comfort and safety of the bathroom. Other things to keep in mind are as below.
- Installing grab bars can increase safety in the bathroom as they can help your loved one to get in and out from the tub or shower. These grab bars come in a variety of styles and colours to match your decor and taste and for the lifestyle experience.
- Consider applying an anti-slip coating to the bathtub or the shower floor to prevent your loved ones from any falls.
- An adjustable shower head is a great way to add accessibility to a bathroom. Combining it with a hand-held shower head creates an even more functional experience. Using these two in conjunction with a shower seat will make it much easier to bathe, while providing an increased level of safety.
- Consider installing a toilet paper holder that is designed for one-handed changing and can be reached from a sitting position
- A toilet/bidet combination could significantly improve hygiene. So, if you are replacing the toilet, you may wish to consider that as an alternative.
Introducing the iElder.asia Aging in Place Showroom.
To help seniors age in place, iElder.asia has a specially prepared showroom to create a lifestyle that allows seniors to take ownership of their aging experience and choose a living situation that will accommodate their needs for many years to come. The showroom is furnished with the best in quality products to help the elderly live safely and with comfort. Visit their showroom in their premises in Cheras which has been specially set up to present a bird’s eye view of what to expect when it comes to aging in place.