Archive for Aging in Place
When you’ve got family members from different generations living in your home, it’s important to be sensitive to everyone’s changing needs. Sometimes you must walk a fine line with seniors because they highly value their independence, but their aging bodies can betray them in their physical abilities. As the years go by, seniors can experience reduced hearing and vision and decreased muscle strength and mobility, which can increase the risk of falls.
One of the most dangerous rooms in your home for fall risks is the bathroom. When you combine slippery tile on the shower and floor along with small, hard-to-maneuver spaces, the result can be disastrous. Fortunately, there are a number of modifications you can make to this room to make it safer and more secure for your entire family.
Today’s scalable bathing solutions offer optimal comfort and convenience while still retaining their aesthetically pleasing qualities. One example is American Standard’s Ovation Bathtub. This modern, sleek, extremely durable tub comes in easy retrofit sizes for existing bathtub alcoves while allowing its occupant more bathing space and elbow room. It also has textured anti-slip floors that drastically increase bathtub safety.
Another great option for a comfortable and safe bathing experience is a walk-in bathtub. These models, also available from American Standard, are complete with a generous seating area, multiple grab bars, and simple lever handles that are easy for arthritic hands to use.
Maximizing floor space for easy navigation is another way to make your bathroom safer for seniors. Installing space-saving fixtures like toilets with compact elongated bowls and pedestal sinks allow for more room to maneuver in the bathroom. Once you’ve created more floor space, make sure that it is free of any trip hazards such as loose rugs, toys and clothes.
Grab bars, especially those strategically placed near the toilet and in the shower, do wonders for fall prevention in bathrooms. Standing on one leg for a senior can be difficult enough, but when lifting the other leg over a tub wall at the same time, things can get downright precarious. If you or anyone in your home has mobility or balance problems, installing grab bars can do just the trick for aging in place and bathroom safety.
How do you plan on making your bathroom safer?
Sarah Kellner is a writer for The Home Depot who frequently writes on safety tips and home design topics. See the full array of bathroom safety products available at homedepot.com
We call them the golden years – and they should be just that. This year, National Aging in Place Week takes place on October 15-21. It’s a week that’s focused on bringing families together to make the home a safer place for multi generational living. This week-long event was spearheaded by the National Aging in Place Council, a senior support network that brings together resources such as healthcare, financial services, and products to make independent living safe and comfortable. To kick off the week, we’re sharing the story of one determined senior that made her home a haven for aging in place.Here’s a sobering and unfortunately, all too real, bathroom safety fact: every 2.3 seconds, an adult 65 and older suffers a fall that can threaten their life, safety and ability to live independently. Jane B., a South Carolina homeowner and senior citizen, recently sought out a solution to avoid becoming part of the statistic. After a close call slipping in her hazardously slippery shower, she came across an ad for a walk-in tub which would answer her bath safety concerns. After a call to a reputable local renovation company, Metropolitan Renovations, Jane had a slip resistant American Standard Walk-In Tub installed… and the rest was history.
Well, that’s the short of it. Similar to the many seniors who live in their own homes, Jane had lived independently for many years and was determined to keep it that way. After all, the “Golden Years” are meant to be just that – a time to relax without the worry of preventable threats. One day last year, Jane fortuitously walked into her local home improvement store which offered American Standard Walk-In Tub options and would recommend a reputable installer to boot.
Metropolitan Renovations, a remodeling company that serves Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, installed Jane’s new Walk-In Tub and renovated her bathroom to address her safety concerns. As a certified Aging-In-Place specialist, Metropolitan Renovations also offers home modifications such as non-slip floor surfaces, wider doorways, grab bars and defined-edge countertops to accommodate the elderly or those that have limited mobility. After a short period, their experts had Jane’s old shower removed and replaced with a new Walk-In Tub with Jet and Air Massage options which provide relief for her fibromyalgia and arthritis.
With the addition of her new safety-minded renovation equipped with an American Standard Walk-In Tub, Jane now feels more secure when bathing and carries a new found sense of confidence in her surroundings. Now that’s aging gracefully.
Tips to prepare you or your parent’s home for aging-in-place:
- Install lever door handles which are less challenging for arthritic hands
- Grab bars – everywhere! Surrounding the bath, toilet, seating areas and more with a grab bar will add stability to those with poor balance
- Right-Height Toilets simplify standing and sitting
- Toss out or secure loose rugs which can be tripping hazards
- Faucets with hot-limit safety stops prevent scalding in the bath or at the sink
- Arrange furniture to eliminate obstructions
- A Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) can put together a great plan for your home. To find one, check out the National Association of Homebuilders’ directory here