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Aging in place is a relatively new idea that can help you or your loved ones continue living a full life in the home of your choice, with a focus on quality of life and independence. It isn’t about growing old; it is about being prepared for the changes in your life, health and environment that occur as you grow older. Preparing your home physically is a good place to start. A good way to picture your needs in the future is to consider the possibility of your own physical limitations.
- Visibility needs. How could diminishing eye sight hinder day-to-day life?
- Wheelchair accessibility. If you required a wheelchair to move around your home, how many places would be difficult to reach?
- Dexterity issues. With muscles weakened by arthritis or other conditions, gripping doorknobs or even cabinet handles can be challenging. How many doors in your home have lever handles?
- Falling, slipping, or tripping hazards. Where in the house could someone have trouble if they drag their feet?
- Fatigue. Can all your spaces, appliances and systems be used efficiently and comfortably?
- Reduced maintenance. When basic tasks become more difficult, what renovations could help reduce the effort of cleaning and maintaining the home?
Once you can visualize some of the problem areas, you can address the actual physical repairs and renovations that may best suit your health and lifestyle.
- Install grab bars in the shower.
- Install a shower seat.
- Replace doorknobs with lever handles.
- Replace traditional light switches with rocker or touch switches.
- Pay attention to slip ratings when purchasing new flooring materials windows.
- Install recessed lighting that illuminates cabinets and countertops.
- Install lever handles or pedal controls for sink faucets.
- Install sensor lighting at each entry.
- Have a light switch at every entrance to a room.
- Have visual contrast at every level change, including stair steps.
- Replace high pile carpet with low pile.
- Replace old hardwood or tiles with slip resistant flooring.
- Install a curbless shower.
- Make the entry accessible.
- Remove cabinets under bathroom sink to accommodate knee space for wheelchair users.
- Have a completely livable first floor.
Wheelchair users will also need a patient lift designed for the home. The Titan 500 is a freestanding overhead patient lift for home health care. It does not attach to the structure and can be moved from room to room, or taken to another location like a cottage or hotel room.
The Titan 500 allows a single caregiver, often a spouse, to safely transfer a patient from bed to wheelchair and back again. It increases transfer efficiency while protecting both the patient and caregiver from injury. Avoid the stress and strain of floor-based lifts and have a look at the reliable and affordable Titan 500 from Traxx Mobility Systems.