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Everything You Need to Know About Aging at Home Safely

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

In 2021, a national survey commissioned by March of Dimes Canada found that 78% of Canadians want to age in their current home, though only 26% believe that they will be able to do so. Staying self-reliant and independent can become more difficult with age, but nobody likes the prospect of giving up a beloved home because it’s no longer practical or safe.

The survey also revealed that making home modifications is considered a more cost-effective option than moving into a retirement home. Fortunately, there is an extensive range of home modifications and access solutions available to make properties safer for senior homeowners.

In this post, we’ll explore five tips to help you create a safer, more accessible home for yourself and your loved ones as you grow older.

Home Care Beds Allow for Improved Safety and Comfort While You Rest

A home care bed is a fantastic addition to your home if you’re concerned about using a standard bed.

It’s easy to take getting into and out of your bed safely for granted. Advancing age and mobility limitations can make it incredibly difficult. People may require help with this and numerous other tasks around the home, whether from a loved one or a professional caregiver.

A home care bed is designed to provide you with a safer, more comfortable, more convenient resting experience. Various models are available, with a bed for different physical requirements.

● Side rails (full or half)

● Hi-Lo height settings

● Head and foot height adjustment

● Accessory add-ons

● Therapeutic and preventative surfaces

Beds created by a trusted brand like Permobil allow for easier transfers, with extendable legs to suit different height requirements. They have diverse weight capacities, too, with some models allowing for up to 600lb.

Additionally, side rails offer the freedom to change position and explore more of the bed while sleeping without the worry of falling out.

Stairlifts can Help You Navigate Your Home Safely, Quickly, and Conveniently

One of the most difficult aspects of staying in your home as you grow older is using stairs, especially if your home is across multiple stories. Whether you struggle to stay upright without assistance, use a wheelchair, or simply find climbing up or down stairs more difficult with age, installing a stairlift is an effective solution.

Stairlifts give you the power to ascend or descend stairs while providing you with a comfortable, secure seat to enjoy. Simple controls make stairlifts easy to interact with, and diverse models are available to suit different body shapes and weights.

You can choose from stairlifts for straight and curved staircases. Straight stairlifts are highly common and typically easier to install. A technician will lay a track of rail, which is simpler on a straight staircase, and verify that there is enough space for you to use your stairlift safely beforehand.

You can also install stairlifts outside to make getting up to your door and down to ground level much safer. These can work for smaller and longer staircases, whether straight or curved, with models built to withstand exposure to the elements.

Installing Grab Bars and Handles can Reduce the Risk of Falls

Grab bars and handles can make a huge difference to your daily life. They’re a particularly common fixture in bathrooms, as they provide a crucial handhold in what can be a damp, slippery environment.

If you usually rely on help from others when using the bathroom for a bath, shower, or using toilet, installing grab bars and rails in your bathroom can restore your independence. For example, you may be able to sit and stand more easily if you can support your weight with a bar or rail.

Also, a loved one or caregiver has the option to use the bar or rail to maintain their balance while they help you.

Grab bars and rails, though, are a helpful addition to any other part of your home — hallways, kitchen, porches, lounges. They’re simple to install, make only a minor aesthetic impact, and can be fitted at different heights based on your physical requirements.

External Accessibility Aids Can Help You Stay Safe Beyond the Home

A variety of outdoor solutions are available to create a more accessible home. These can allow you to complete various tasks more safely, from taking a relaxing dip in your pool to getting into your car.

You can choose from:

● Railings

● Ramps

● Vehicle lifts

● Pool lifts

● Porch lifts

These outdoor accessibility aids may enable you to navigate your outside spaces more safely, conveniently, and comfortably.

You May be Eligible for Ontario Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit

Ontario’s Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit offers financial assistance to eligible homeowners looking to make their property more accessible. The program was announced in November 2020, with an aim to help seniors stay in their homes for longer.

To be eligible, you must be aged 65 or older at the current year’s end, living with a senior relative, or planning to live with a senior relative within 24 months after the current year’s end. If you’re eligible, you may be able to claim up to $2,500 in credit per year.

Eligible modifications include:

● Installing grab bars

● Fitting walk-in bathtubs

● Widening doorways

● Lowering cupboards and counters

● Installing wheelchair ramps

How Can You Start Making Your Home Safer?

We’ve explored five key points that can help you stay safe as you reach old age, and hope that you feel more aware of the options available to you.

At Total Access Solutions, we have more than 30 years of experience providing accessible home modifications, including wheelchair ramps, grab bars, stairlifts, porch lifts, and much more. We offer the best warranty in the industry and source solutions from top manufacturers.

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