Aging in place is an important topic for many seniors; it’s a way to ensure that there are no health or safety issues while remaining comfortable at home rather than moving to a nursing or assisted living facility. It’s not an easy task, however, to make changes to your lifestyle and home that will prevent injuries or illness. There are so many details to think about, and it can be costly to modify your home for accessibility if you have existing health or mobility issues.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can age in place safely. By looking around your home to find any issues, you can ensure that you can live there for years to come. One of the biggest problems — and often one of the easiest to fix — is the lighting. The lamps and fixtures in your home can have a huge effect on your ability to stay safe and prevent falls, as well as on your ability to perform daily tasks and stay independent.
Keep reading for tips on how to age in place safely by making changes to your lighting.
Prevent Issues on the Stairs
Stairs can be extremely dangerous for seniors; in fact, they are the main reason for a move to a smaller home, especially if the individual has mobility issues. However, if you are committed to staying in your home, you can do it safely by making sure the stairs are well-lit and have no trip hazards, such as old carpeting. Have an electrician install bright lighting at the top and bottom of the steps in your home, and make sure the railings are bolted tightly to the wall.
Add Some Shade
A generous amount of lighting is important, but making sure you have the right type of lighting is just as crucial. This could mean adding lamp shades to bare bulbs to prevent glare, especially if you have hardwood or tile floors. You should also make sure the lighting is the same throughout the house so your eyes won’t have to compensate for the adjustment as you move from room to room. Add LED lighting to save money on your utility bills throughout the year.
Install Task Lighting
Task lighting can be a wonderful thing for seniors, as it gives a little boost of illumination in the areas where it’s needed most. Install lighting under kitchen cabinets so you’ll have perfect vision when you’re doing dishes or chopping veggies, or place a special lamp near your favorite chair so you can read, knit, or do a crossword puzzle easily.
Layer Your Lights
It’s a good idea to layer the lighting in your home so that every area will be properly covered. This might mean placing lamps on tables, hanging light fixtures or ceiling fans, and placing floor lamps around large areas. This is a great way to ensure there’s plenty of light around no matter what you need to accomplish.
Light up the Bathroom
The bathroom is another place where falls can occur, so it’s imperative that you light it well. This can also help with finding the sink and toilet easier if you suffer from a vision impairment. If you’re adding lighting, make sure you have an electrician do it, as there are many safety considerations to make (including keeping lighting a certain distance away from water).
Aging in place safely can take some work, so make sure you call in a pro rather than trying to accomplish it all yourself. Set a budget and start with a good plan so that no area will go overlooked. With a little preparation, you can ensure your post-retirement years are worry-free.
Site last updated: 18. September 2019
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