The American Association of Retired Persons and the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that most adults 65 and older would prefer to live in their own homes for as long as possible. According to their data, this applies to 90% of Americans within this age group. It’s also important to note that senior citizens will comprise approximately 20% of the country’s population by 2030. While some of these older adults may choose to live in active retirement communities, others will remain in their own homes. A certain percentage may, however, need to reside in assisted living situations.
Preparing to Age-in-Place
To prepare for retirement, many homeowners are renovating one or more rooms in their house. HomeAdvisor’s 2016 Aging in Place Report, for example, found that bathroom renovations are being considered by 48% of homeowners in the over-55 age group. The report also discussed the various projects that home service professionals are being hired to complete. While they are being hired to handle other types of jobs, these were the most common aging-in-place projects:
- Grab bar installations: 71% of the requested jobs
- Entryway wheelchair ramp installations: 54% of the requested jobs
Minimizing Falls Within the Home
Half of the falls that older adults experience occur within the home. As a result, these individuals are treated every 11 seconds in emergency rooms throughout the country. There are a variety of ways that these falls can be minimized, however. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that a large percentage of injuries occur within bathrooms. This amounts to almost 235,000 people becoming injured as a result of slipping and falling or another type of incident. Since falls often occur in the bathroom, adding bathroom safety features such as bathroom grab bars may make a significant difference.
It is also common for older adults to fall when standing up out of a chair or when getting out of bed. Grab bars and other assistive devices, such as adjustable chairs, can be used to minimize these falls as well. Currently, there are roughly 6.8 million people in the United States that use assistive devices to provide balance and increase their mobility in these and other situations. When homes also meet ADA door requirements, this can also help to minimize falls when entering or leaving the house.
Learn More About Increasing Home Safety
When older adults want to remain in their homes, it’s important to learn as much as possible about adding safety features. The Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards provide vital information in this regard. ADA door requirements, which includes ADA door opener requirements, is just one subject area that may be of interest for individuals that use wheelchairs, scooters, or other mobility devices. In addition to learning more about ADA door requirements, wheelchair ramps, and other convenient assistive devices, individuals and their family members may also want more tips on creating a safe home environment so that they are able to thrive in place.