How to age in place with safety in mind

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At Stanly Wellness Center here in Locust we treat a lot of retirees. As we grow older, our bodies change. Our reflexes slow down, our muscles deteriorate, and our balance becomes worse – and that’s just if your lucky! Some of the many complaints that we treat for seniors include neuropathy symptoms, balance issues, focus and concentration concerns as well as arthritis pain. As a child of two aging parents, their health and safety are at the top of my thoughts, especially as I interact with others who also look out for the well-being of their parents.

This becomes even more concerning when you consider that according to the AARP, a whopping 88% of adults aged 65 and older want to stay in their current home and community as they age. Aging in place is a totally doable option for many people, but it can’t be done without planning. To age in place, you need a home that is kind to your body and its needs. For many seniors, that means making accessibility modifications and eliminating the potential for injury within their current home. For others, that means downsizing to a new home. This article will explore some modifications for seniors who want to stay in their home as they age.

  • Widen Doorways – Narrow doorways make it difficult to get through in case of walkers or wheelchairs. Hiring a professional to remove molding and door frames, making a new header, etc. can make getting around the home much easier.
  • Add Lighting – Adding as much light as you can makes it easier for seniors to see as often is the case that our eyes deteriorate as we get older. You can add more natural light by using mirrors, changing window treatments and installing glass doors or a skylight.
  • Install Handrails – Handrails can make it easier for seniors to get up from places like their bed, tub and toilet. Also look for steps around the house that do not have handrails and install those as soon as possible.
  • Use Safety Ramps – Steps in general can be a tripping hazard for those who can walk, and become a nuisance for those in wheelchairs or who use walkers. Install safety ramps over any elevation and use a non-slip surface on the ramp to help prevent falls. Also make sure that handrails are used adjacent to any ramp.
  • Try a Kitchen Island – Losing one’s ability to prepare meals is a huge blow to independence. A kitchen island is a great solution for seniors who need easier to access storage and a comfortable surface on which to work.
  • Relocating – Lastly, for those whose home is too large or multi-story, relocating to a smaller or safer home is better than renovating. Also, depending upon where you live, it is possible to downsize to a smaller home and net a profit off of the larger one to pad the seniors’ nest egg.

Many seniors want to age in place. Using the above suggestions should make the process easier both on the seniors as well as on their caretakers. Special thanks to Kent Elliot for contributing insights in todays article.

At Stanly Wellness Center, we are eager and ready to help you and your families achieve your best health possible. If you are looking for help with your health or you know of someone who is suffering with poor health, call the office of Stanly Wellness Center at 980-355-7600 and schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation with Dr. Patrick Ess to see how he can help. Dr. Ess will not waste your time or money. He will let you know if he can help you, and if he can’t, who in the community can.​Our office specializes in nutrition, detoxification and neurological correction. You can also refer to our website at www.AskDrPatrick.comfor more information. We accept most major health insurances including BCBS, Aetna, Humana, UHC, Medicaid and Medicare.

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Patrick Ess
Dr. Patrick R. Ess grew up in Buffalo, NY. There, he attended Daemen College for his undergraduate studies in Natural Medicine. After which, he graduated in 2002 from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY, with a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. Dr. Ess has treated thousands of patients and changed their lives with care. He believes in educating the patient so that they are better able to make informed decisions regarding their health.

Dr. Ess donates his time to the community by educating people of all ages on a variety of health, wellness, and safety issues. He teaches people how to avoid work injuries, stress maintenance, weight loss and promote healthy lifestyles.

Along with his 2 wonderful children - Tristen (16) and Sara (14), Dr. Ess enjoys cycling, hiking, swimming, drive-in movies, and other outdoor activities. Together they promote a healthy lifestyle with regular chiropractic care.