Linda Mossman's Blog
You’ve lived in your home for 20 or more years. When you moved into your home, your children still lived with you. The relationship with your spouse was new. Back then, your eyes were wide open. You were as busy learning and exploring the world as you were adding your personal style to your home.
Getting older doesn’t have to force you to abandon your home
That was also the time in your life when you were physically younger. Getting around wasn’t something that you thought twice about. Whether you hopped on your bicycle and pedaled into town, jumped on a train or hopped in your car and drove to a festival, shopping center or community event, life, for you, was exceptionally mobile.
The years have passed, faster than you thought they ever would. You’re less mobile and you worry about falling or not being near support should you experience a different type of emergency. You could take the traditional route and move in with a relative. You could also relocate to a retirement community or you could stay in your current home.
- Wheelchair ramp – Install a wheelchair ramp. Choose a ramp that has railings on both sides. Make sure that the ramp leads from your front walk up your porch steps.
- Newly paved sidewalks – Repair or replace cracked sidewalks to keep from tripping over cracks in sidewalks and falling.
- Emergency medical alarm systems – If you already have a home security alarm system, contact the service provider and see if they have an emergency medical service that you could add to your account. Go with an emergency medical alarm system that you can use whether you are at home or away from home. Additional security may come through a security system that connects to your and two to three close friends or relatives’ cell phones.
- Sturdy indoor and outdoor stair railings – Replace or tighten screws and bolts on exterior and interior stairwell support railings. You should do this regardless of your mobility level.
- One level home – A one level home like a ranch house removes the need to climb stairs. You also wouldn’t need to install stairwell railings in a one level home. Go with an open floor plan and you can enjoy more visibility. Another feature you might appreciate are large, bay windows.
- Mobile stair ramps – Make it easier to go from the first to the second floor of your home. Install a mobile stair ramp or a mobile chair lift.
- Sit down bathtub – Add a sitting area in your bathtub to prevent slippages. You could also install a medical transfer seat in your tub.
- Lowered cabinets – Lower kitchen wall cabinet to prevent from having to reach up too high and becoming off balance and falling.
There are adjustments that you can make to your house that could allow you to remain in your home should you become less mobile. If you’re currently in the market for a new house, you could shop for houses that have several of these features. These features can offer safety and support. These home features can also offer independence.