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Ageing In Place Starts With Home Safety

Updated on May 1, 2012
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What does ageing in Place Mean?

Ageing in place is a common term used by many folks within the elder care community. To put it simply it means living in a community of one's own choice with independence, dignity and freedom of choice. This sounds simple enough, but combined with functional and cognitive changes associated with the ageing process ageing in place becomes complex.

As an effort to help communities prepare for the upcoming population wave associated with the baby boom generation, the ageing in place initiative was formed by the Partnership for Livable Communities and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. The initiative focuses on creating communities that are good to grow up in, live in and grow old in.

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The Home Environment

A safe home enviornment is key to remaining independent and at home. Falls are a major contributor for injury in the home for elders, often resulting in broken bones and long periods of rehabilitation. In many cases elders can avoid falls by taking a few simple steps of prevention:

  • Create wide pathways free of obstruction
  • Remove or secure tripping hazards such as area rugs
  • Use night lights
  • Make sure lights are bright and switches are accessable
  • Make sure furnature is spaced far enough apart to all access for adaptive devices such as wheel chairs, power scooter or walkers
  • Get help when you need it
  • Have a home safety inspection

Home Safety Assessment

A home safety assessment is a great place to start, you can do it yourself or have an expert help you. A good safety inspection will help you look at all areas of your home to identify risks that are present within the area. Each area of a home has risks associated with it for example wet floors in the bathroom, protruding handles on the stove in the kitchen, narrow pathways in living room and poor lighting outside all present risks, even for folks without physical or cognative functional declines.

Good safety habits start early and help you to avoid pitfalls to ageing in place.

Stay at Home

We all want to remain at home in our home as we get older. In fact elders are more likely to live in traditional communities with supports provided to them in their home than in a residential care setting. The best way to accomplish ageing in place is to follow some simple guidelines:

  • Understand your own limitations
  • Use adaptive equipment to support safety at home and away from home
  • Get help sooner rather than later
  • Maintain your health by participating in proactive behaviors
  • Create a safe enviornment for yourself

Home Safety Products for Elderly

Purchase and use equipme designed to help you maintain your independence.

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