How to age in place

Susan Brunstrum explains how, with just a few small design changes, you can future-proof your home for yourself

Grab bars and shower seats are important additions bathroom, bathroom sink, floor, plumbing fixture, product design, room, sink, tap, tile, wall, white
Grab bars and shower seats are important additions

I’m not a senior citizen – yet – but I have already told my kids that it will take dynamite to get me out of my high-rise condo! I’m definitely the independent type, and I’m going to age - gracefully I hope - in my home. Senior citizens make up the country’s fastest-growing population, and most of them want the comfort and familiarity of their own home. In fact, ageing in place is directly linked to better health and happiness for seniors, especially if they aren’t isolated. How can you stay safe while living at home? Just a few small design changes can make a big difference.

It's important to lay rugs flat , with chair, dining room, floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, home, house, interior design, living room, room, table, window, wood, wood flooring, gray
It's important to lay rugs flat , with no corners sticking up

Throughout the house:Install indirect lighting in areas where there are shadows or glare to prevent trip hazardsChoose low-pile rugs and avoid thick padsMake sure all area rugs lay completely flat, including all corners and edgesAvoid buying furniture with sharp cornersChoose door levers over door knobsSelect furniture, including a bed, which is low enough so your feet can touch the floor when sitting, but not so low that it is difficult to get upProvide plenty of low storage to eliminate the need for step stools, but not too low that bending over is requiredMake sure there are bannisters at every stairway, inside and outIn the bathroomInstall grab bars in bathing areasChoose a no-threshold shower and/or tub, both with nonslip surfaces Add a seat to the showerInstall a raised toilet seat

Story by: Susan Brunstrum

04 Dec, 2017

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