Key to aging in place may be simple renovations

Bryan Aldrige

November 16, 2011

Key to aging in place may be simple renovationsAs aging in place is becoming the norm among more of the senior population, many are finding that remodeling is key to growing old in peace with their homes, The Tualatin Times reports.

Nancy and Ivan Watts of Beaverton, Washington, are just now reaching the age where they may need to make changes to their home to age safely. However, after providing elder care for Ivan's parents for years, the couple instead started remodeling little by little, and are now all set to age in place.

Along with their daughter, Lynnae Rhoades, who manages a senior home improvement company, the Watts' are urging others reaching senior status to make the necessary changes to their houses now.

"If you let it go, you'll get into an emergency situation and a fire drill," Rhoades told the publication. "But, if you think ahead, you'll have perspective and control."

Rhoades added that items like grab bars or walk-in tubs are some of the first things that should be updated as many falls can happen in the bathroom. Widening stairs, adding more lighting to dark hallways and rearranging or even getting rid of excess furniture are also easy steps to improve living.

Those residing at home alone may also want to install a senior alert system into their homes, so if all other precautions fail, they'll have the security of being able to call for help in an emergency.