4 Tips for Staying Independent as You Age

For many of us aging can be quite the challenge, we’ve got from the peak of our lives and slowly we decline physically until basic things can become somewhat of a challenge. If you’re anything like me then you really value independence, and while there are many benefits to assisted living, there’s something special about aging in your own home, surrounded by the neighbors and community you know and love. There are a number of adjustments you can do to your home and routine to ensure that you’re not only safe at home, but thriving even as your body changes with time. Keep reading to learn my top 4 tips for staying independent as you age.

1. Installing a Stairlift
This is probably one of the most dramatic changes you can make to your home and it can also be the most significant financial investment too. If you live in a multi storey home then chances are you’ve likely experienced one fall or slip on the stairs. Falling in such a way can result in broken bones, especially as we get older and our bones become weaker. For some of us the repetitive motion of climbing down the stairs is quite uncomfortable on our joints, especially if you find yourself going up and down multiple times a day. For that reason installing a stairlift, such as those at Age Co Mobility, can be a great way to resolve this issue. Many people don’t want the hassle and stress of moving, but find navigating a two storey home in their golden years almost impossible. A stairlift is a great way to stay home but to retain your independence.

2. Changing the Door Knobs
Look around your home and take a long look at the doorknobs you have. It might sound silly to give them so much thought, but if you suffer from shaking hands as you age, it can be near impossible to open round door handles. Instead, longer lever style handles might be easier for you. If you don’t want to change the handles themselves, you can invest in some cheaper door handle grips – they’re plastic or rubber grips that go over top of the doorknobs and help provide more traction and support for opening the doors. If you’d like the best of both worlds, you can even get a knob to lever conversion which transforms your current door knobs into a lever style handle. These are about twice the price of a door knob grip, but can be significantly easier to operate.

3. Safety Rails in High Risk Areas
I think it can be a great idea to install a safety rail in a high risk area, such as inside your shower, beside your bath and toilet, and even where you have some small steps. This can be a relatively inexpensive addition to your home. Grab bars can give you a lot of extra confident to navigate slippery areas alone, and they also help give your loved ones some peace of mind that you’ll have that added support whenever you need it.

4. Reduce Slipping Risks
There are some high risk areas around the home where you’ll be much more prone to a fall. When you’re younger, and your bones are stronger, it’s much easier to ‘bounce back’ from a fall. But as you age, even a small fall could land you in hospital with a broken bone. For this reason I suggest brainstorming areas around your home that could be high risk for a fall, and adding in some slip resistance. One example is your shower or bath, you can buy a mat that has little grips on it, so you don’t fall. But there are some not so obvious areas of the house where you might like to place one too, such as under the kitchen sink where water spills are likely, on your front or back steps if they get wet when it’s raining. Think of areas where you might be more likely to slip, and add in some extra protection for your peace of mind.

Staying independent as you age is so much easier when you take the right steps to make your home safe and comfortable.