The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - R20
FIVE WAYS TO PREP YOUR HOME
MAKE SURE YOU'LL BE SAFE AND SECURE IN YOUR
HOME AS YOU AGE WITH THESE EASY FIXES.
BY LIZ LONG
You've done it! You finally retired and are ready to
move on to the next chapter in your life. If you plan to
remain in your home, there are ways to help you stay
there as long as possible.
"We tell all our customers that safety comes first,"
says Kathy Kinsey, marketing rep and retail manager
for the Commonwealth Home Health Care Salem
store. "It's important to not only be comfortable, but
also go in with a positive attitude to make it easier on
yourself and make the situation better."
Here are five easy ways to make sure you remain
safe and comfortable in your home after retirement.
Good lighting is key for your home, on each floor and
in every room. Kinsey recommends that you install
light switches at the top and bottom of your steps,
including your basement. Being able to watch your
footing is important so that you don't accidentally take
a spill down the stairs.
"Falls are extremely dangerous to older people.
Fifty percent of those who fall and go into rehab
never come back home," she says.
Don't forget the outside! Having lighting outdoors
isn't necessarily about theft, but rather being able to
see coming from your car to your front door at night.
DECLUTTER YOUR HOUSEHOLD
Too much clutter can become an obstacle course. Items
like throw rugs and cords become trip hazards, setting
yourself up for a problem down the road. Along that
same line, anything different in your home, such as
switching furniture around, may become an issue. As
you get slower, if you are not used to a particular layout
of a room, you are more prone to injure yourself with
a simple mistake such as stumbling over a scatter rug
or knocking your hip into a table corner.
RAILINGS AND RAMPS
Installing ramps and handrails is certainly an idea every retiree should consider. Kinsey recommends putting rails on both sides of your porch so that you can
move up and down either side without problem. You
can also place handrails in your shower to prevent accidents getting in or out. Ramps aren't just for those
in wheelchairs, either. As we get older, steps become
more challenging; ramps allow for more movement in
case you don't pick up your feet as high as you used to.