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3 Ways Your Home Can Help You Age | Generations Home Care
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    Aging in Place is Increasingly Popular

    In our last post we talked about Americans’ increasing interest in avoiding assisted living by staying in their chosen home as they get older, a concept called Aging in Place. Anticipating the physical changes that accompany aging and taking steps to address them is an important part of the process. In many instances, assistive technology, deliberate design choices, and home location can play a powerful role in helping you age.

    1. Assistive Technology

    While it may sound complicated, assistive technology comes in both hi and low-tech forms. Low tech assistive technologies include restroom grab bars, shower seats, and reaching aids. All of which are relatively inexpensive and easily implemented solutions to mobility problems.

    Hi-tech assistive technology can include more complex electronic solutions, like counters that automatically raise and lower depending on the user, as well as a whole host of newly emerging home automation features. The ideal implementation will be different for everybody, but would likely include a mixture of both hi and low tech solutions.

    2. Universal Design

    Home design also plays an important role in facilitating physical changes due to aging. Universal Design – or creating spaces accessible to all ages and abilities – is of growing importance as the boomer generation ages. Using these principles in home design will make them more livable as we age.

    The AARP provides a useful guide for making your home fit your needs as you age and suggests features including:

    • No-Step Entryways – To reduce tripping hazards and allow access to wheelchairs or other mobility assistance devices, the AARP recommends at least one entrance into the home should even with the outside.
    • Wide Doorways and Halls – Doorways with a minimum width of 36 inches and hallways of at least 42 inches allow the best access for varying mobility levels.
    • One-Floor Living – You won’t have to climb stairs everyday if your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen are all located on the lower level.
    • Accessible Controls and Switches – Place light, thermostat, and electrical sockets within easy reach for those in wheelchairs
    • Easy-to-Use Handles – Lever-style handles are easier and less painful for the elderly to use than traditional twist handles.

    Universal design includes more than just your home’s design. It also includes the style of appliances you choose – like front-loading washers and side by side refrigerator-freezers – to your lighting arrangement.

    3. Home Location

    Your home’s location as it relates to needed amenities and services is also an important part of your plan. As you age, your ability to travel shrinks so proximity to medical services, grocery stores, and entertainment should play a role as you choose where to live.

    Start Planning Today

    Aging in place requires deliberate thought and planning but it’s an achievable goal for millions of Americans. The sooner you begin the process, the better off you’ll be in the end. If you live in Arizona, Generations Home Care offers services that can make it easier to live independently. Call 602-595-HOME or send us a message and we’ll tell you how we can help.

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