As a senior, you still have a lot to look forward to in your life. Watching grandkids grow up, seeing more of the world, and making time to enjoy your golden years. These are all priorities as you get older, so don’t let worries about aging in place get in the way. With some simple steps, like the ones below, you can safely age in place at home and live your life worry-free.
Have Even Lighting Throughout Your Home
Did you know that nearly 60 percent of senior falls happen inside the home? There are many fall-prevention steps you can take to enhance your home’s safety, but one of the most important ones is to ensure your home is evenly lit. Since aging eyes have a harder time adjusting to variations in lighting, it’s important to keep rooms lit consistently no matter what time of day it is, especially in hallways and around stairs. Many seniors are turning to smarter light bulbs to keep their homes lit, so do your homework to see if these could help you.
Upgrade Your Home’s Entry for Accessibility
As you upgrade your lighting, be sure to focus on the entrance to your home. Many slips and falls occur as seniors are attempting to get into their homes. So, take a look at your entryway and plan for necessary improvements. For example, you could replace your stairs with a more accessible ramp. If you do not want to build a ramp, you can also use tactile materials to keep your stairs from getting slippery and install rails for support.
Keep Your Pets from Causing a Serious Fall
Another home fall hazard many seniors fail to think about is being tripped up by pets. Because smaller cats and dogs are not always visible as you move around your home, it’s easy for your furry family members to get in the way and cause a serious tumble. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have pets as you age. If you have a cat or dog, be sure to keep a collar on with a bell or other noise-making device so you will know where they are. If your dog seems to always bounce around, you can also hire a dog walker to get that extra energy out.
Trade Your Old Shoes for Supportive Footwear
Whether you’re walking around your home or the neighborhood, having the right shoes can also help you avoid falls. As you get older, this may mean getting rid of your favorite flip-flops and heels in favor of shoes that improve your balance. Sneakers are always a safe and comfy bet, and many have Velcro closures that can be a blessing if you suffer from arthritis.
Schedule Yourself for More Frequent Eye Exams
Eyesight tends to get a little worse as you age, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. In fact, experts recommend eye exams as an integral part of any fall prevention plan for older adults. Getting your vision checked on a frequent basis will alert you to any issues that could interfere with your balance so you can take measures to decrease your risk of falling.
Try Improving Your Balance with Some Basic Yoga
Keeping your eyes in shape is a good way to prevent tumbles and falls. Keeping your muscles strong and your balance in check, however, can help you prevent injuries as well. One of the best workouts for maintaining balance is to practice daily yoga poses. Not into yoga? You can try these balance promoting exercises instead. In fact, there are many easy exercises seniors can do indoors to stay in shape and develop the strength necessary to age in place, including the use of exercise apps and free online videos.
Aging in place centers on making safety and accessibility modifications to your home. While those changes are important for decreasing your risk of being injured in a fall, making lifestyle changes can help too. Falls can be dangerous for seniors, and the resulting injuries can even be deadly. So, make sure that your retirement plans include the right adjustments to help you age in place and preserve your quality of life.