Updated and revised from 2008, 2012 post

According to an ASID survey 82% of Americans want to stay in their home as they age, even if they should require assistance or care.

Will your home accommodate you as your needs change? As we age, our bodies change. We have hearing loss, changes in vision, loss of strength and dexterity, and arthritis. Sometimes we have a loss of mobility. There are things that we can do to change our homes or plan new homes that allow us to live independent, healthy lives as we get older.

Some changes include grab rails, special clearances, and surfaces that allow us to move easier: well-placed lighting and sound systems.

Kitchens and bathrooms with special heights and features can make things that have not been comfortable suddenly much easier.

Simple adjustments, like nonglare glass, remote controls, or easy-to-grasp controls. Even colors that let you know where surfaces start and stop can significantly improve your quality of life.

We put dots on my mom’s computer keyboard so she’d get her fingers placed correctly.  We bought them at Amazon, the little dots you put between furniture and glass.  We put those same dots on her dishwasher so she’d know which buttons to push.

There are many ways to make life easier, whether you are planning for an elderly relative to live with you in your home or planning to stay in your own home and or allow for extra living space for a caretaker. We can work with you to make life easier and more beautiful at the same time.

When I originally wrote this, I didn’t think I’d be looking back on it to remind myself to call a handy person to retrofit my and my mom’s showers with grab bars.  Since this article, I’ve written a book and three programs with sections on aging in place and others on safety in your home.  I know many people now who are in their homes who can’t go up steps and have elevators. 

Remember those fancy bathtubs with doors so you can walk in and fill them with water after you’ve secured the door?  It’s easy to listen to the person on the sales floor with a great idea.  I’ve had the time to talk to the people who bought those fancy tubs and sat in them to wait for them to fill with water.  They sat, and sat, and sat, and sat.  Then when they let the water out, they sat, and sat, and sat again.  Not all ideas are so great.

Staying at home is a great idea, and there are many ways that we can stay home and take care of ourselves.  Families, communities, friends, and caretakers make it easier.  No man is an island, and it is possible to maintain your independence.  

Don’t give in to inferior health care.  It’s easy, I know.  We get tired and want to give up, Don’t.  Some days are better than others; hold out for the better days, and don’t hesitate to ask your loved ones for help.  It’s easy to be stubborn and say you don’t want to be a burden.  This is your chance to let your children help you.  They’ve been waiting for you to ask.  



Done for You Programs to Consider

Healthy Home

Art of Aging

Clutter Clean-Up