With a growing senior population, creating a home space that allows individuals to "age in place" is a growing trend.  By making adjustments to their current homes and pairing those efforts with some in home care when needed, seniors can have an affordable and comfortable alternative to traditional retirement home.   While some seniors may bring in a contractor when major changes are called for in the home, many additions that can make a home more "senior friendly" are relatively cheap and easy for just about everyone.

Here are some simple tools and tips to help seniors “age in place”:

- Redecorate to accommodate as you age.  Remove any unnecessary furniture, and place remaining furniture so that there’s enough space for a walker or wheelchair.  

- Lighting is key to a senior safety, especially as vision can begin to fade as we age.  Simple motion sensor lights can plug right into a wall outlet and provide you with extra lighting at night along stairs, hallways and other tricky areas.  Adding motion sensor lights around the exterior of your house can provide additional safety and protection as well.   Another great gadget in the area of lighting is the hand-held remote controller for turning lights on or off from a chair or a bed.

- Strategically located bedrails can be a great help getting in and out of bed as we age.  Easy to install and available at most hardware stores, these little items can be a lifesaver on bad backs!

- For those suffering with arthritis or related issues, a zipper pull can make getting dressed a whole lot easier!  Latch these items on the current zipper and zipper pulls provide a more easily gripped, pulling surface.

- The number of people that slip and fall in the bathroom each year is astronomical...and it's not just senior citizens falling either.    Regardless of age, having safety strips in the tub/shower, as well as a hand rail should be mandatory in all homes.   Providing extra traction and grip, such additions can save you from serious injury. 

- Heavy, double sided rug tape can ensure that thrown rugs and mats stay put and don't create a tripping hazard.   When possible, adding a few well-placed carpet tacks on the edges of rugs can ensure you have a safe place to step.

- If you have carpeting, make sure it's a thin-pile carpet that's easy to walk on and navigate with wheelchair if needed.

- Have a fire alarm on every floor and outside each bedroom.  Again, much like slip guards and rails in the bathroom, this is a safety tip that, regardless of age, everyone should adhere to.

- Having WI-FI and computer access can be a key factor in keeping seniors engaged and entertained.   In addition to providing them with a vast resource of knowledge on every topic, a computer can help individual stay in touch with friends and relatives through email and various website like Facebook. 

- While not an actual home additive, systems like Life Alert can also make a senior's home more practical.   With the touch of a button, a senior can summon help even if they can't reach a phone.  

Make the Home Safe

The U.S. government has several grant programs available for aging adults to weatherize their homes and make them more energy efficient and to make general repairs and home improvements for home safety. To be eligible you must be over age 62 and meet low income requirements. There are also loans and grants available for repair and rehabilitation of homes of eligible senior citizens who live in rural areas. Various grants for home rehabilitation are available in different states for senior citizens who meet the financial and age criteria.   Groups like AARP and HUD have listings and details on special senior programs.

If you would like to learn more about caring and consistent in home help for the elderly and the many benefits of professional in home senior care or dementia and Alzheimer’s care, call Senior Helpers of Glendale to speak to a senior care specialist today 414-375-4257!  

The compassionate senior care specialists at Senior Helpers can also guide you through the process of receiving the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Benefit if your elderly loved one is a veteran.   In home senior care and in home assisted living allows your loved one to stay in the comforts of their own home for as long as possible while receiving the level of care they need. Senior Helpers of Glendale provides a wide range of services including Alzheimer’s and dementia care, personal assistance, companionship, and so much more to all areas of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties.

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