Aging at Home: A How-To Guide for Safety with 12 Tips
As a Baby Boomer, you are determined to age in your own home and not in assisted living. Your family is concerned with your health and safety but you shoo their worries away. So now is the time to face up and ask yourself: Is your home set up so you can safely age there?
Baby Boomers want to remain active, independent, and able to go and do at the drop of a hat. As a Boomer, you don’t want to feel old. You don’t want to feel tied down. You don’t want to give anything up to anybody.
Yet your family has the right to want you to be safe. Keep the kids “off your back” by installing and improving your home with these discreet and attractive safety products and practices. If you aren’t certain how to install or make these improvements yourself, hire a trusted and reviewed contractor or handy man.
You don’t want to install a safety product incorrectly and have it fail at your moment of need!
Everyone understands that living at home gives you the freedoms to be yourself. Your vision of life as you intend it is important. This may mean you don’t want to be on a set eating schedule. You don’t want to have to check in or out to travel or go and do. You want to have the privacy to act how you want to act without the rumor mills churning.
Assisted living, or an aging community, is great for some, but it is not for you. So what will you need to have the precautions of assisted living without the rules of assisted living?
We recommend the following items, some wholesale medical supplies, others common sense necessities, for your home:
- accessibility ramps for inside and outside of the home
- hand rails and grab bars
- lift chairs or chairs that move up stairs and elevators
- home exercise equipment
- bath safety supplies
- personal alarms, like subscription service body alarms
- body support products to prevent injury, like a back brace
- chronic support braces for chronic issues, like pain
- orthotics for arthritis
- sleep apnea supplies
- nail care for diabetics
- sexual health products
After you have assembled all the of the products and installed them, there are a few more steps to ensuring you have a safe home. Some of these tips might seem obvious but we’re hoping that some will be ones you have not thought of.
- Keep the most used items the easiest to reach. Not on shelves too low or too high.
- Install and inspect both smoke and CO2 alarms.
- Check the cords on all small appliances like coffee makers, space heaters, blenders, and microwaves. If cords are frayed, replace or throw away.
- Have a phone in every room or carry your cell phone in your pocket and have your caregiver program phone numbers into your phone for emergency contacts.
- Keep traffic areas and stairways clutter free.
- Have your mail and packages picked up for you or sent to a PO box.
- Make sure all rugs and carpet and secured down or removed.
- Use beveled thresholds if your floors don’t evenly line up or install indoor ramps.
- Make sure stairways have a study handrail.
- Make sure you have light switches both at the top and bottom of stairs.
- Replace door and cabinet handles and locks with ones that are easy for you to use.
- Replace glass with plastic if possible for dining ware and drinking glasses.
None of these suggestions are written to make you feel old or unable to care for yourself. Instead, they are all precautions that might apply to you today or someday soon.
Keeping yourself safe through proper preparation is the easiest way to convince your loved ones that they should not worry about you living and aging independently in your home.