How to Make Smart Aging in Place Modifications to Your Home

Home modifications can be an excellent way for seniors to fulfill their aging-in-place needs. Such modifications might involve adding push-style switches that are simpler for senior users than toggle switches. Let's look at some of the common modifications you should consider if you want to age in place.

Handrails

Aging can lead to decreased balance, mobility, and strength. Installing handrails throughout your home may help decrease falls and the injuries they cause, while consulting a certified Environmental Access Consultant or Senior Home Safety Specialist for advice can provide an in-depth evaluation of space before suggesting modifications as necessary.

Other smart aging-in-place technologies can be installed to monitor activities and help prevent injuries. For instance, placing a smart sensor inside of the medicine cabinet would detect when someone removes medication from it; similarly, it can monitor activity in the bathroom as well as turn off the stove or oven when left unattended.

However, some seniors may be wary of how these devices might invade their privacy or invade their system. One solution could be opting for sensors that don't constantly track movement to avoid giving the impression that seniors are being tracked while also maintaining their dignity.

Safe Flooring

According to a 2021 AARP report, "the percentage of adults over 50 who prefer living independently as they age has remained consistent, even during pandemic outbreaks." Unfortunately, as people age there may be many natural repercussions that lead to illness or injury that require caregiving assistance.

Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) renovates homes using universal design in mind to offer accessibility and safety features that support homeowners throughout all stages of life. Such modifications are more cost-effective and practical solutions than relocating into nursing home facilities.

Installing anti-slip flooring in high-traffic areas such as hallways, bathrooms, and living rooms can drastically lower the risk of falls. Laminates are an easy and quick way to keep surfaces safe underfoot; additionally, push-style light switches may make life simpler for people with limited hand strength or vision impairment.

Smart Home Technology

A smart home is defined as an automated house that is remotely managed via Wi-Fi connection, incorporating devices like TVs, thermostats, refrigerators, washers/dryers, garage doors/doorbells as well as energy-saving features like smart power strips and water sensors which track usage to alert homeowners when its time to change the filter.

Smart aging-in-place modifications provide more than conveniences such as being able to control lights and music from your couch - they also serve a life-saving purpose, with smart devices designed to detect falls and send alerts directly to loved ones or emergency services in case of falls.

Residents can monitor their homes from mobile phone apps or computers for real-time updates and information regarding what's happening while they're not there, giving them peace of mind knowing their property and loved ones are secure.

Medical Alert Systems

Medical alert systems should be a top priority for anyone living alone or sharing a home with vulnerable seniors. These devices connect with a call center and monitor at-risk individuals, reaching out to pre-set contacts or emergency services when an alert button is pushed.

Some systems also incorporate location detection technology, which utilizes Wi-Fi, cellular data, and GPS radio signals from 24 satellites to quickly locate users who wander from home or get lost. These features are invaluable when used for individuals at risk of wandering such as those suffering from dementia or cognitive issues.

Most medical alert systems come equipped with either an at-home base unit or a mobile option that connects via cellular networks. At-home systems usually require landline connectivity for use up to 600 feet away from where the base unit is plugged in; while on-the-go solutions use mobile networks and are portable for use anywhere.

If you plan to age in place in Madison, these are some of the things you can modify within your home.

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