Florida seniors and their adult children frequently ask me how the elder can stay in the family home. I understand this desire. I want my clients to be able to age-in-place for as long as possible. We must plan, however, for a time when you may be unable to do so safely.


Aging-in-place is the concept of living in our homes well into advanced age. This can be a reality for you when you prepare in advance. This preparation includes managing your finances and making your elder care choices as soon as possible with an elder care attorney. It also includes preparing your home to support you as you age.  


Are you an elder who lives at home alone? Are you scared of falling and hurting yourself when you walk around your house or take a shower? These are reasonable fears to have, and there are steps you can take to prevent these fears from becoming reality. I will share our five tips for how to make your home more aging-in-place appropriate.


1. Put handrails around your house. These handrails should be installed next to stairs, in the shower, and near step-downs. Handrails can be installed by you or a contractor, and are easy to use. To get started, evaluate your home to determine where you believe you are the most at risk for potentially tripping or falling.  


2. Put a seat in your shower. One of the most frequent ways seniors fall is when they are in the shower and slip on the wet floor. If you have a seat to sit on while you are bathing this hazard may be avoided.


3. Invest in a moving chair. If you have a large staircase in your home and feel unsafe walking up the stairs, invest in a moving chair that is built into the wall. Once installed, you will be able to sit in this chair as it moves you up or down the staircase. Consider a moving chair that includes the options of a guardrail and a seatbelt.


4. Add light where you need it. Research shows us that when it is hard to see you are much more vulnerable to tripping and falling. Add light to all areas of your home that get dark at night or have shadows during the day. Consider investing in a motion sensor option. This option means the light will automatically turn on.


5. Install cabinets within your reach. Instead of placing your supplies in tall or hard-to-reach overhead cupboards, utilize cabinets that you are able to easily access. This may require reorganization of your kitchen, your bathroom or your supply cabinet, but it is worth the effort. You want to avoid any instance where you could lose your balance and injure yourself in a fall.


When we want to age-in-place, it is crucial that we make adjustments to our homes. Modifications like these can help you remain safe for a longer period of time. Remember that making modifications are only part of the puzzle. Do not wait to contact my firm to talk about your elder care planning needs.