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Home Improvement  /  October 25, 2016

How Do I Make My Home Senior Friendly?

Many homeowners go through the experience of “baby proofing” a house, but how many of you have experienced making your home senior friendly? There are many reasons you may want to consider making your home senior friendly, and the crew at Handyman Connection of Eden Prairie has put together a few ways to help you do that.

When beginning to tackle making your home senior friendly, it’s important to assess the current living environment. Examine the major areas and common “hang out” spots in your home such as entryways, the backyard, the kitchen, or even bathrooms. Overall, proper lighting is the most important thing to help avoid accidents.

Entryways to your home are a good first place to tackle in making your home senior friendly. This is where you and your guests enter your home, bring in groceries or other bags, carrying kids, and more. Ensure these entryways are safe and convenient regardless of the weather, time of day, or other conditions. Keep the entryways free of any debris or barriers and consider installing a ramp for those who are in wheelchairs or on crutches.

Another easy way to “senior proof” your home is by making sure all doors are accessible and easy to open. Replace your current doorknobs with lever-style knobs to make it a little easier to turn and open or close doors. On a similar train of thought, levers work best for faucets, so consider replacing your faucets with this type of hardware. Anything that can help make it easy to turn doorknobs or turn on faucets will be helpful especially for those who experience pain from arthritis or other existing conditions.

Slippery surfaces can be an immediate danger to seniors living or visiting your home. Alter your floors to be slip-resistant by adding nonskid mats under area rugs, or even better, removing rugs completely. Also do what you can to avoid potential trips from other items so make sure floors are always clear of debris, trash, or other items lying around.

This leads us to conquering stairs. For seniors, stairs can pose issues and can be dangerous. If you do have stairs, make sure handrails are installed on both sides of the staircase. Again, we stress here that lighting is critical. Make sure the stairs are fully lit from top to bottom so that each step is visible, and that nothing is a surprise.

Lastly, ensure bathing areas are safe and comfortable for seniors. Grab bars are great, but don’t stop with just the tub. Install grab bars near toilets or other areas where seniors might need an extra hand. A step in shower is great if that’s an option, but if not, make sure the shower is well lit and there are grab bars available from each point of entry.

The crew at Handyman Connection of Eden Prairie is here to help with any and all of your home maintenance needs. If you have questions about other ways to make your home senior friendly, or would like to discuss installation of materials, give us a call.

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