We all get a little bit older every day. And as we inch closer to our golden years, it’s wise to
consider ways we can keep ourselves safe at home. No matter how healthy and active we are
now, there’s a good chance we’ll slow down, at least a little, as we flirt with 70 and beyond.
Realtor Kathy Gibson shares a few simple ways to make sure that this change of pace doesn’t
grind you to a halt.
Watch the stairs
Stairs are risky no matter your age, but when you begin to have issues with your vision or ability
to quickly react to getting off-balance, they can be a huge hazard to your health. HealthDay
explains that one in four seniors fall annually. Many of these accidents occur while maneuvering
up or down the stairs. Reduce your chances of this happening by taking steps to prevent stair-
related injuries. Add a few lights along the wall, increase the color contrast between each riser
and step, and ensure you have a sturdy rail to hold onto both sides of the stairwell.
Reconsider Your Bathroom and Kitchen
Remember what we said about falls? Well, the bathroom and the kitchen are prime areas where
falls occur. Take stock of each, and determine what you can do to make them safer and more
accessible. When it comes to implementing design and accessibility updates, it’s in your best
interest to work with a contractor to make your home more conducive to aging in place. For
example, in your bathroom, consider adding a curbless shower, a raised toilet, and several grab
bars. For the kitchen, look into widening doorways, lowering countertops, and finding a way to
make it easier to reach common tools or appliances. The more proactive you are with your living
space, the safer it will be as you remain independent at home.
Outsource the uncomfortable
Certain chores become a huge hassle as we age, but that doesn’t mean you should let your
housework slide. Clutter is a significant contributor to your risk of falling, and bending and
stooping to pick things up, using the vacuum, or moving heavy furniture can put unnecessary
strain on your back. Hiring a cleaning service could be in order. It’s an investment, but if you
have the budget for it, it can reduce disorder and help you relax and enjoy life. Cleaning
services usually cost between $25 and $75 per hour, with total cost depending on the size of
your home. Likewise, consider hiring a lawn care company to handle your outdoor maintenance
tasks, especially if you have a large or uneven yard. Services can run around $30 to $80 based
on the size of your yard. To find a top-rated professional, use the search terms “lawn care near
me” to connect with local experts who can keep your lawn looking great all year round.
Invest in lighting
Decreased vision is a common effect of age. For this reason, your home should be well lit
throughout. Lamps USA explains that 65-year-old eyes need twice as much light as 20-year-old
eyes. One countermeasure the lighting company suggests is upping the level of ambient light
throughout your home.
Repair and Replace Any Faulty Appliances
Regardless of whether you have a refrigerator on the fritz or an oven that’s not hitting set
temperatures, it’s important to have these appliances repaired or replaced to ensure safety.
Connect with local appliance repair professionals to diagnose and address any issues, but be
mindful of whom you hire. To ensure a job well done, check out customer reviews before you
reach out to anyone.
Be Open to Other Living Arrangements
As much as you plan ahead, there may come a time when you need a different sort of living
space. Whether it's moving in with a loved one or turning to assisted living, having an idea of
how this will play out can make the transition easier. Take some time to tour nearby assisted living communities to get a feel for what they look like, what sort of amenities and transportation they offer and what types of support you can count on receiving.
Staying independent and aging in place is a common preference for most seniors. To do so you
just have to plan ahead. By taking precautions now, you can safely enjoy your home for years to
When the time comes to sell your home for something smaller, connect with Pasadena real
estate professional Kathy Gibson for an unparalleled real estate experience. 626-826-9003
*Written by Emily Graham