Old age can come with ups and downs. You get to look forward to retirement and having all the time in the world to do the things you love. You can choose to move closer to family or to a city you always wanted to live in, travel the country or world, volunteer, or even work part-time.
However, if you did not save for retirement, you may only live off Social Security, which can tighten your budget. You need to pay a mortgage, bills, health insurance, and more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 36 million seniors fall each year. It could be severe enough to end up in the hospital when you fall, and then you have a new medical bill to pay. There are ways you can avoid slips and falls by altering your home and making modifications.
Add a shower bench
You may start your modifications by choosing places that you use frequently. The bathroom is likely to be one of them. Bathrooms can be dangerous if you are not careful because water accumulates on all surfaces when you are bathing. You may consider adding a shower bench that allows you to sit down when you are in the shower. This can be a nice safety feature as it can prevent you from slipping in the shower. Additionally, you may consider making modifications to the floor in the bathroom and throughout the house.
There is nonslip wax that you can add to floor surfaces. This can be beneficial in the bathroom as your feet are wet when you step out of the shower. You may also consider adding nonslip wax to other areas in the house, such as by the front door or the mudroom where your shoes are stored.
You may also consider adding nonskid treads on any steps that lead upstairs or to a basement. These treads can be helpful on both hardwood and carpet as both can be slippery when you step. Stairs are something you may want to avoid as much as possible, especially if you are carrying items.
Implement ramps for outside steps
Not only may you want to avoid stairs inside, but altering steps outside can be beneficial as well in your old age. Stairs can be dangerous all year round, especially when there is rain or snow in freezing weather. Outside stairs can also have foundation issues such as cracks. Replacing steps with a ramp can prevent injuries and make life easier as you get older.
Move the master room to a lower floor
If you live in a two-story house with the master room upstairs, you may think about moving your master room to the lower floor of your home. Constantly going up and down the stairs can put a strain on your knees. If you already use a walker or cane, then it can take time to get up and down the stairs safely, and in an emergency, you want to be able to get out as soon as possible.
Purchase a medical alert system
Purchasing a medical alert system and having it installed can be a true life savior in the case of an emergency. Although landlines are still in some homes, many people have gotten rid of landlines and only rely on cell phones. If that is the case and you are ever in another room and can’t access or find your cellphone, then you could be in trouble. Medical alert systems can be there to help anywhere in your home. Many alert systems will include fall detection, which can be helpful if you can’t get back up safely.
Widen doorways and open the floor plan
Depending on the floor plan of your home, widening your doorways can be beneficial if you need a walker or wheelchair in the future. Open floor plans make getting around the house much easier, especially when cleaning or hosting relatives and friends. If you host holidays and have grandchildren running around, you can trip over them or their toys when you cut corners.
When you alter your home and make modifications that cater to old age, it can help keep you safe by preventing injury. Safety is always a priority, but the improvements stated above can make your daily activities more convenient.