Let’s face; most modern homes aren’t designed especially for a senior adult living in McLean. There are many lurking risks and hazards in your home that can hinder the safety, comfort, and independence of your loved older adult. That’s why trips and falls are the leading reasons why older adults lose mobility and independence.
- An American senior is taken to ER every 11 seconds because of a fall
- 1 in 4 senior adults (65+) in the US trips or falls every year
- Even worse, an older adult succumbs to fall injuries in America every 19 minutes
Against these eye-opening statistics, it’s crucial to carry out some home modifications to reduce fall risk and make your home a great fit for your older loved one. Good thing, AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) has prepared a super handy home modification guide for seniors.
In this article, we are going to walk you through important highlights of the AARP’s HomeFit Guide.
What’s the HomeFit Guide?
It’s what it sounds like – a comprehensive guide of home modifications you can make to “proof” your home for senior adults. The primary goal of the guide is to ensure that all homes in the US are suitable for everyone, no matter their physical ability and age. It covers just about any modification you can execute on home to boost safety, comfort and independence for seniors, from task lighting and shower head adjustment to door levers and drawer pulls.
If you aren’t already familiar with the organization, AARP is an interest group based in the US with close to 40 million members worldwide. Its core mission is to support and empower those who opt to live their lives after retirement.
Highlights of HomeFit Guide by AARP
We’ll touch on a few pages/sections that you need to pay particular attention to when thinking of home modifications for seniors.
The Room-by-Room HomeFit Tour (Pg. 4)
This all-around tour takes you through every room in a senior-friendly home, from room to room as well as the outside. This way, you can see each modification that is required and what every room will look like once modified. In fact, the tour explains what you’d find in such a fit home that’s designed to be accessible to all, especially seniors.
Home Fitness for Specific Needs (Pg. 12)
This section thoroughly covers home modifications that’ll make your house livable and user-friendly regardless of age. You can expect clear examples of things like great lighting for aging seniors eyes as well as how to make everything easy to reach for them.
Use This, Not That (Pg. 14)
This section comes with a visually-rich shopping guide that makes it easy to find and shop for hardware, fixtures, and other items you need to bolster the safety of your house. It also explains briefly why these items are superior over conventional ones.
Your HomeFit “To Do” Lists (Pg. 16)
This is a simple and easy to understand yet comprehensive checklist of all home modifications. It places them into two categories: (1) those that call for hiring a contractor/handyman, and (2) modifications you can do yourself (DIY). Furthermore, it provides you with nifty tips for hiring the right handyman/contractor for the job.
Resources (Pg. 22)
This section presents three useful online resources for you: NAHB.org, AARP.org/livable, and AOTA.org.
Of course, that isn’t all there’s to HomeFit guide. It also includes a set of quizzes to help your senior’s house, as well as money savings on cooling/heating bills, info about certified aging-in-place experts and occupational therapists, just to name a few.