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Safe Eye for the Aging Guy: Home Improvements to Promote Safety

As your favorite senior heads into his golden years, a home improvement  “makeover” may not be the first thing on your mind. But, I’m going to tell you why it should be.

I’m talking about making over his home to improve his safety. By improving his home, you help him age in place. You are not only upgrading a home, but you’re also improving a life.

Below is an array of home improvement options. I’ve ranked them by difficulty level.

These quick and dirty home improvement changes may seem small, but they can help maximize the safety of your senior’s home. You ought to be able to pick these things up at Target, Wal-Mart, or at your favorite local durable medical equipment company.

  • Buy shower mats and seats for the shower. These little lifesavers will help your senior keep his balance and avoid slips and falls during shower and bath time. This is important because most slips and falls happen in and around your shower. Plus, he’s worked a long, full life.
  • Battle these buggers with nightlights in every corridor of the home. This little fix is particularly helpful for those with impairments in vision.
  • Check the batteries often.
  • Take a long, slow walk around your senior’s home.Any major fixes will take you up to Level 2 or Level 3.

Level 2 home improvement tasks may be a little more than you or your senior can muster, but should prove doable for the local teen with a toolbox close at hand. If strapping lads or lasses are in short supply in your neighborhood, you can call a family member or a trusted friend.

  • You don’t need to use the grab bars of old.
  • Switch your light switches to rocker switches. This will make sure they’re easy and accessible for your senior and for guests and visitors alike.
  • Widening door frames to accommodate potential walkers or wheelchairs takes you to Level 3.

Level 3 home improvement options includes ones that may need a little more help than the local teens can offer your senior.

  • Consider curbless showers to make entrance quick and simple and user-friendly for all. A little European shower might make your home much safer.
  • Redo your countertops.
  • Ramps are useful for when sloping walks or decks are not possible.
  • Finally, weather-proof your stairs and ramps with deck paint and a bit of added in sand. This will add year round traction and improve the safety for your senior.

Your senior’s home should accommodate him, not vice versa.

Remember, you don’t need the crew from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to make your home more liveable and much safer.

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