As the saying goes, there's no place like home. Ideally, it's where you feel most relaxed and safest — where you feel like you belong.
But what if you didn't? What if being at home started to make you feel nervous, or completely isolated?
It may be difficult to imagine, but unfortunately, this is the harsh reality for aging seniors who haven't taken steps to make aging in place more comfortable. They often find themselves without access to certain parts of the home, or the freedom to safely enter and exit at will.
Or consider during an emergency – will you or your loved ones be able to escape harm’s way in case of fire?
Even simple tasks like climbing the front steps, checking the mailbox, or getting upstairs to bed can become nearly impossible.
Staircases and thresholds that were previous unnoticed can quickly become danger zones. Bathrooms can be all but off-limits with the hazards they present.
So how can seniors reclaim their living spaces — and the lives they love? Fortunately, there are many manageable proactive steps to safely age in place. Amramp has helped thousands of elders (and families facing mobility issues) make it possible for the aging population across the country.
8 tips to age in place safely
- Consider a ramp. This is a sensible first step to accessing or exiting the home safely, and at will. Ramps help aging seniors feel more liberated and better connected to the outside world. Ramps make sense event for folks who don’t use wheelchairs or walkers. Better not to wait until a stair accident happens.
“Ramps make sense for seniors who are at the stage of stairs presenting a challenge,” said Julian Gordon, Founder & President of Amramp, a leading wheelchair ramp and aging-in-place expert installers nationwide and in Canada.
- Install a stair lift. Whether it's four stairs leading up to the front door, or 20 up to a second-floor bedroom, staircases of any size can be frustrating and dangerous to seniors with mobility concerns. Indoor or outdoor stair lifts can be installed quickly and are easy to use independently.
“There’s a common misperception out there that folks have to move out of their two-story homes,” Gordon said. “Consider the cost of moving, finding suitable – and affordable – housing, and disruption to older folks who, quite frankly, may simply not be up for a drastic change at their stage of life.”
- Make grab bars handy. Safety grab bars are one of the easiest ways for aging seniors to get assistance with the kinds of tasks that are routinely done at home, from bathroom trips, to showers, and beyond.
“This is the first place to start, and helps folks of all ages. Consider grandchildren who have to hoist themselves up to the toilet,” Amramp’s Director of Marketing Barbara Gayton said. “How many bathroom accessories have been ripped from the studs when a little one needs some help. For an elder, that scenario, sadly, often leads to a trip to the ER. Grab bars simply make sense.”
- Lower counters and sinks. Help seniors utilize kitchen spaces by considering an adjustable sink or counter space, or remodel to lower sinks for seniors in wheelchairs.
- Widen doorways and entry points. Seniors can feel stuck if they're blocked from certain spaces in the home because their wheelchair or walker can't fit through the doorway. A simple solution to freely moving about the home is widening doorways to accommodate.
- Consider a portable shower. For seniors who are temporarily unable to navigate to the shower, the shower can come to them. Portable, roll-in showers make this an option, and can be used wherever there is warm water.
“Not just for seniors but also for folks coming home from a procedure or injury. Let’s face it, most homes simply are not set up for life’s unexpected challenges,” Gayton said. “Amramp proudly helps families manage these disruptions and prevent additional injury to the loved one and the caretaker.”
- Install handrails. Making full-grip railings more accessible and pronounced helps prevent falls. The PromenAid Handrail blends with every decor, indoor or outdoor.
- Cover thresholds and transition points. Threshold and entry ramps help anyone in a scooter, wheelchair, or walker pass through doorways and raised landings. They're also handy for anyone unsteady on foot.
Amramp offers quick installation and products that are designed to promote aging in place while meeting ADA standards.
Bringing new meaning to “safely at home”
Please contact Amramp’s National Customer Service Center 888-715-7598