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Savvy Senior: How to create a safe ‘aging-in-place’ home

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Dear Savvy Senior,

My husband and I are excited about making some modifications to our home so we will stay dwelling there for so long as attainable. Can you advocate some good assets that may assist us with getting old in place concepts?

— Staying Put

Dear Staying,

Many retirees, such as you and your husband, need to keep dwelling in their very own home for so long as potential. But having the ability to achieve this will depend upon how straightforward it’s to maneuver your home as you become old. Here are some useful assets you possibly can flip to, to get an concept of the several types of options and enhancements you can also make that may make your home safer and extra handy as you get older.

Home analysis

A superb first step in making your home extra age-friendly is to do an evaluation. Go by way of your home, room-by-room, on the lookout for drawback areas like potential tripping or slipping hazards, in addition to areas which might be onerous to entry and troublesome to keep. To assist with this, there are a number of organizations which have aging-in-place checklists that time out potential issues in every space of the home, together with modification and options.

Rebuild Together, for instance, has a two-page “Safe at Home Checklist” that is created in partnership with the Administration on Aging and the American Occupational Therapy Association. Go to and seek for “Rebuilding Together Safe at Home Checklist.”

The National Association of Home Builders additionally has an “Aging-in-Place Remodeling Checklist” that gives greater than 100 options to may help householders age 50-plus stay safely, independently and comfortably. Go to and seek for “Aging in Place Remodeling Checklist.”

Also take a look at AARP’s wonderful useful resource referred to as the “HomeFit Guide” that is crammed with 28-pages of ideas and diagrams to make your whole home safe and simpler to reside in as you age. You can entry it at — seek for “HomeFit,” or name (888) 687-2277 and ask them to mail you a free copy.

Personalized recommendation

If you need extra personalised assist, think about getting a skilled in-home evaluation with an occupational therapist.

An occupational therapist, or OT, can consider the challenges and shortcomings of your home for ageing in place, advocate design and modification options, and introduce you to services to enable you to make enhancements.

To discover an OT in your space, verify together with your doctor, medical insurance supplier or native hospital, or search suggestions from household and pals. Many medical insurance suppliers, together with Medicare, can pay for a home evaluation by an OT if prescribed by your physician. However, they won’t cowl the bodily upgrades to the home.

Another choice is to contact a builder who’s a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). CAPS are home remodelers and design-build professionals which might be educated about growing older in place home modifications, and may recommend methods to modify or rework your home that may suit your wants and price range. CAPS are usually paid by the hour or obtain a flat charge per go to or undertaking.

To discover a CAPS in your space, go to the National Association of Home Builders web site at the place you possibly can search by state and metropolis.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or go to Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today present and writer of “The Savvy Senior” guide.

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