Photo via Pexels

Aging in place has become a popular option for many, but is it right for you? There are several benefits, but in order to make it work, you need to be assured of your safety.

It’s smart to take a dual approach to ensure that you stay out of harm’s way. To get started, incorporate the best wellness regimen to help prevent falls and injuries, and make simple modifications today that can keep you safe.

Fitness and Diet for Seniors

With the approval of your doctor, you can participate in exercises and other healthy activities to improve strength, balance, and flexibility. Incorporating these activities can keep you safe. SilverSneakers has several exercises they recommend for seniors, like swimming, walking and yoga.

Meanwhile, your eating habits should support a healthy weight as well as aid in strengthening your bones to minimize injury from falls. Dairy products like yogurt, milk and cheese provide much needed calcium, and foods like sardines, salmon and eggs are sources of vitamin D, which improves calcium absorption and bone growth. If you add a vitamin D supplement, aim to take it in the morning to avoid sleep disruption. Also take it with a breakfast that includes healthy sources of fat, as from avocados, olive oil or nuts. The fat will help your body absorb the vitamin D.

Get Plenty of Rest

Even adults over age 65 need seven hours of sleep per night, per the National Sleep Foundation. Proper sleep can keep you sharp and protect your memory. Develop a relaxing bedtime routine, like reading or meditating before bed. Clearing your mind and calming down at the same time each evening can help signal to your body that sleep is coming.

The Easiest Accessibility Modifications To Try

Statistics indicate that 81 percent of injuries which occurred in the bathroom were caused by falls, and people over the age of 65 were 1.5 times more likely to get injured. Thankfully, between physical wellness and a supportive environment, falls are preventable.

You can make easy and simple modifications in your home that don’t cost a great deal of money to protect yourself from in-home accidents.

  • Grab bars in the bathroom. Place them in showers, tubs, and near the toilet.
  • Add a shower chair to make showering easier.
  • Consider additional bathroom changes, such as raising the toilet and using a spray attachment for your showerhead.
  • Bright lighting around the house. You may want to install a Clapper or voice operated options for ease of turning lights on and off.
  • Clear out cluttered areas to create space to move.
  • If you have wrist mobility issues, install levers in place of standard faucets and door knobs.
  • Use non-slip mats in areas with slippery flooring.
  • Widen doorways with expandable hinges.
  • Make other necessary repairs to make your home more comfortable, such as fixing windows to better control room temp (Pro Tip: Search for window repairs near me to find a highly rated professional) and removing old carpet for easier walking

Senior Advisor recommends advanced modifications as well, such as widening your doorways, that you might need to consider.

Moving to an Accessible Home 

Unfortunately, some renovations cost a great deal in time, money, and paperwork. Refitting your house for accessibility may actually be a bigger headache than buying a new home where this work has already been done. Here are some tips when seeking a home that fits your needs:

  • When looking for a home, use online filters to search for accessible homes for sale in your area.
  • Use a checklist to find what you are looking for.
  • Be sure to plan your budget ahead of time. Know the average home sale price in your area.
  • Remember to include moving costs and any renovations to the new home in your budget.
  • Scammers often target seniors; avoid becoming a victim by researching companies through trusted websites.

If you’re still uncertain about aging in place, think about things like whether or not you’ll have a local support system, your financial situation and your other retirement goals.

Aging in place is a great option for today’s seniors, and there are many simple modifications you can make to your home. However, if a major renovation is needed, you might want to consider moving to an accessible home. You have choices, and there is no reason you shouldn’t be comfortable and safe in your senior years.  If aging in place is no longer possible or desirable, you still have options for “aging in community,” including situations like roommates, in-law arrangements with your family, and in-home care.

Author: Karen Weeks