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Elder Planning Isn't Just For The Elderly

4 ways to make your home safer for aging in place

When people grow older, they often worry about losing independence. While assisted living can greatly improve quality of life, most people prefer the familiarity and comfort of their own homes.

If you plan to age in place, you should prepare for the future by making your home safe and accessible.

Accessible entrances

Many older people rely on mobility aids, such as wheelchairs and walkers. In addition to building a wheelchair ramp, you may need to widen narrow doorways and switch out doorknobs for handles.

Fall prevention

Safe flooring can help prevent a devastating fall. Rubber, cork and low pile carpet are some good options. Avoid area rugs, as they can be a tripping hazard.

Lighting is also essential for preventing falls. Motion-activated lights in hallways and bathrooms can make midnight trips to the toilet safer.

Shower and tub safety

For people with mobility issues, the daily ritual of taking a shower or bath can become difficult. Consider installing a walk-in shower or tub. If replacing the entire tub is not an option, a bathtub transfer bench can help you get in and out safely.

Kitchen accessibility

Nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal, but if you have difficulty standing, preparing food can be difficult. Anti-fatigue flooring and mats can help. If you rely on a wheelchair to get around, you may need lower counters.

When planning for renovations, bear in mind that Medicare does not include home modifications under its durable medical equipment coverage. However, a Medicare Advantage plan might. Medicare Advantage plans vary, so be sure to review the terms carefully before choosing a plan.

As you grow older, it is important to plan for the future. Making modifications to your home can help make it a safe and comfortable place for every stage of life.


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