By Anna Hazard
The kitchen is one of the more dangerous rooms within the household due to the presence of food borne bacteria, fires due to untended equipment, an increased chance of falling due to the higher likelihood of spills on the floor, as well as a preponderance of scalding, burns, and laceration injuries (with more than 40% of hand injuries in the ER due to kitchen related accidents).
Due to this, options that keep the space more safe and accessible are the main focus when it comes to retrofitting or remodeling a kitchen for aging in place. In addition, this area should be redesigned to prevent as many cases of stooping, bending over, reaching out or over one's head, as well as preventing the possibility of falling as much as possible.
By Anna Hazard
When it comes to properly aging in place, in the living room the focus should be on being uncluttered, efficient, and spacious with an easy layout to navigate. The living room arrangement should be tried and set even before health may require it (such as allowing room for navigation with a wheelchair or another mobility aid even when not needed) as it may take experimenting with several different layouts before an optimal one can be found. Besides the space & layout, the exact type of furniture as well as electronics & other gadgets should be taken into consideration when prepping the living room for accessibility & universal design.
By Anna Hazard
This entry in our Aging-in-Place by Room series focuses on other household wide systems such as communication, electrical & power grid, as well as a selection of other recommended systems for trash & recycling, cleaning, & medication management that should be overhauled for better accessibility. While the overall power grid to a house may require more time consuming & professional services in order to better prepare a home for future requirements, many other system tweaks will only require a small upfront cost or purchasing of a standalone device in order to implement.
By Kaki Zell
You know that exercise is good for your body — but did you know that it’s good for your brain as well? Yep, exercise has two-for-one benefits, which is all the more reason to start working out if you don’t already. Here are six exercises that will benefit both your body and your mind.
By Anna Hazard
Besides flooring, doorways, and other more room specific details, there are a variety of household wide systems that should also be upgraded or otherwise tweaked so that the home is properly prepared for aging-in-place. This would include the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems commonly known as HVAC. In general these are systems that should be modified earlier on before the necessity of oncoming ill-health or fragility forces an emergency retrofitting (or worse yet forces a senior to leave a residence that can no longer adapt to their requirements in a timely enough manner).
While home performance upgrades will require an initial (sometimes hefty) price to install, they will generally offset this with decreased maintenance & utility costs throughout the following years. In addition, there are a variety of incentive programs in many states that offer rebates and subsidies for residential energy efficiency installations & conversions as well as the availability of the federal Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Otherwise, one of the most important points to keep in mind during aging-in-place retrofitting, is that all potential housewide system should be low maintenance with easy to use interfaces.
By Christian Worstell
When summer temperatures rise, elders and their caregivers should take heed. Seniors are much more susceptible to suffering from heatstroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration when the mercury rises. In fact, studies show that from 1999 to 2009, approximately 40% of the fatalities from heatstroke were people 65 years of age and older.
What Is Heatstroke?
There are several different types of heat injury, most of which begin with dehydration. Dehydration occurs when a person's body loses more water than it takes in. We lose fluids from sweating, breathing and urinating. Vomiting and diarrhea also cause the body to lose fluids.