Preparing Your Home for Future Accessibility
I've worked with older adults for more than 50 years and I have never had one person say that their desire was to live in a nursing home.
There are times when some form of long term care outside our homes is the best option, but it isn't the option most of us prefer. Many people are left with no choice because they didn't prepare their homes to ensure they are places that enable older adults to continue living in them. There are things you can do to make your home safer.
There are small and large projects, low cost and expensive projects. Each is an investment in your ability to remain in your home. For bigger, more costly projects see if you qualify for assistance with home modifications from the CT Tech Act Project. Also consider using some of the equity you've earned in your home. Making your home more accessible is an investment that can pay dividends by making it possible to avoid the high cost of institutional care.
Some low cost projects include replacing all the handles on doors with user friendly handles that don't require turning the knobs. Install grab bars in several places in your bathroom to help you get safely into the tub or up from the seat. Put a shower seat in the bath. Consider replacing the tub with a walk in shower. Make sure you have a full bath on the first floor. Put anti-scald controls on your faucets. Install a raised toilet seat.
Make sure there's enough lighting to see what you're doing and where you're going. Increase the overall lighting in each room and hallway. Install light switches at the entrance to every room. Consider motion sensor lights so you're not trying to find your keys in the dark.
Every home should have a ramp that enables you or your guests to access your home. No one wants to feel trapped inside the house because of a few porch steps. Have railings installed on both sides of all stairs. You need something to grip going up and going down. One side railing only helps half the time.
Hallways should be at least 36 inches wide to permit a wheel chair to pass through. Flush thresholds will make it easier to use a walker or wheel chair in your home.
You can remain safely in your home if you prepare your home for your future.