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Aging in Place: Practical Home Improvement Tips for Seniors

Hoca

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GUEST WRITER – Hazel Bridges​


It’s no secret that aging can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. I’m not yet in the advanced senior category, but already starting to understand the next life stage. As we grow older, our bodies change and we often find it harder to do things we once nonchalantly took for granted (think walking up and down the stairs or getting in and out of bed).

Many seniors opt to age in place, which essentially means living in the same home they’ve lived in for years — instead of relocating to another home or moving into a facility or community. Aging in place is an excellent option for older adults who want to stay close to family and friends while maintaining independence. Aging with Pizzazz has links to materials on the Resources page and discusses this concept in more detail, as well as some practical home improvements to make life easier in our golden years.​

What Is Aging in Place?


Healthline explains that aging in place means staying in your home for as long as possible while getting older. Many of my friends and older relatives say it’s their heartfelt hope. The concept has become more and more popular over the years, as technological and medical advancements make it more practical to stay close to family and friends, maintain our independence, and enjoy the comfort and familiarity of our home. I’m thinking about it now because I know it’s essential to plan ahead and make all the necessary modifications to ensure a safe and comfortable environment in our later years.​

Practical Home Improvements to Consider


There’s a long list of home improvements that can make aging in place more comfortable for seniors. An important first step is to assess our homes for fall hazards, such as loose or uneven flooring; then, we might install handrails in crucial areas like the bathroom and staircases.

Perhaps less costly, but just as important is to make sure there’s adequate lighting throughout your home. Maybe consider incorporating motion-activated lights in your hallways and staircases. Adding a walk-in shower can also prevent slips and falls because they’re easier to enter and exit than traditional tubs (of course, that’s on the costly side again).​

Moving to a New House​


Staying in our own home may be our preference, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most practical solution. Moving to a senior-friendly house might be the best option if your home requires significant modifications that will be too difficult or expensive to complete. Perhaps you just don’t want to deal with contractors in and out of your abode. Or maybe you figure that you could take lots of trips with that renovation money.​

Several senior-friendly housing options exist, including houses, apartments, and retirement communities that offer a wealth of amenities. Take time to research your local market to get an idea of home types, prices, and features! You might start with the AgingWithPizzazz Resource page under Aging in Place and Housing sections.​

Incorporating Smart-Home Tech​


Creating a smart home is another alternative to consider. Smart-home technology like automated door locks, smart thermostats, and voice-activated assistants can make life more convenient.​

Smart-home tech can also promote your safety with products like video doorbells and motion-activated cameras that monitor your home and alert caregivers of any unusual movements. Plus, installing most of these devices is relatively straightforward, and you can use online resources to troubleshoot all kinds of issues! (Or have your grandkids help with the online stuff.)​

Starting a Side Business​


Maintaining social connections is crucial to our well-being as we age. Launching a side business (e.g., ecommerce, tutoring, virtual assistance, etc.) can allow you to interact with others while earning a little extra income. (Note a recent blog which demonstrates if we really believe we will live to older years, a little bit more money in, and less out, is helpful.) Think of any skills or interests you have, and research different business ideas through which you can put them to use. Then, create a business plan to guide your steps in the months ahead!​

Amintro, a social and info hub for those over 50, notes that volunteering or joining local groups can also be a fantastic way to socialize with like-minded people and contribute to our community. Seize opportunities to connect with others, and your all-around well-being is sure to benefit!​

Conclusion


Aging in place is a fantastic option if we want to maintain our independence and stay in the home we love. There are many home modifications and smart-home technologies to make daily life much safer and more comfortable. But if staying in your own home isn’t feasible, take time to research the wealth of senior-friendly housing options out there.

Whatever path you take, remember to stay socially active and take advantage of opportunities to improve your quality of life.​

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Guest Writer


Ms. Bridges is the creator of Aging Wellness (.org), a website that aims to provide health and wellness resources for aging seniors. She’s a breast cancer survivor. She challenges herself to live life to the fullest and inspire others to do so as well.



Note from drb: Hazel and I would be remiss not to mention a wonderful program called “Home Instead” that depends on adults and seniors helping other seniors. Check them out at: Home Care Services | Home Instead

The Aging with Pizzazz blog covers topics on health, happiness, recreation, life tips, self-care notions, fitness, new ideas and just plain FUN. Guest writers can see guidelines and contact info here. Others, visit us today and use our search feature to learn more of what interests you!​



Title Image via Pexels

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The post Aging in Place: Practical Home Improvement Tips for Seniors appeared first on Aging with Pizzazz.
 
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