North Georgia home improvement and design/build firm Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling discusses age in place design and home safety.
While the official National Safety Month is in June, there is never a bad time to discuss safety in the home. Today, however, we are going to look at a specific type of safety, specifically, age-in-place design elements.
Age in Place and Home Safety
Believe it or not, over one third of Americans age 65 or older suffer some sort of accident involving a fall each year. Of those, many end up in the emergency room or with life altering injuries that can limit their mobility, quality of life or even result in death. As with most “accidents,” these injuries are largely preventable by taking a few steps to ensure the safety of aging loved ones – and yourself as well.
Age in Place design – also known as Universal Design – is the practice of implementing design elements in a home that allows for easier accessibility and usability for rooms in the home. This can include something as simple as the installation of grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet in bathrooms to something more complicated, like adding slip resistant flooring, widening doorways and installing a wheel-in or curbless shower.
Of course, there are some steps you can take prior to calling in a North Georgia age-in-place design specialist to help start on the path to a universal design home. For starters, lighting is very important for home safety. By ensuring that hallways and stairways are well lit, you create a clear path and avoid missteps/stumbles.
Removing any throw rugs is another simple step that will help keep your home fall-free. Organizing sloppy cables, repairing any water leaks that could leave your floor slippery, and installing grab bars in any area where there could be a slip hazard (the shower for instance) or next to difficult places to stand (such as the toilet or near any step-down or small staircases) all help reduce the risk of slips and falls.
In the event that an accident does occur, you will want to get help as soon as possible. Keep a list of emergency contact numbers close at hand and in clearly visible areas – such as near each telephone and on the refrigerator. Speaking of phones, keep them near beds and often-used chairs so that they are easily within reach should you need to call 911.
Finally, make sure that all of your fire alarms and smoke detectors get fresh batteries at the change of the season and fire extinguishers get replaced by their expiration date. If your smoke alarms are over 10 years old – or you do not know how old they are – invest in new ones to make sure that they are still in working order.
Age in Place Design in North Georgia
Once you are ready to take the next step toward creating an age-in-place or universal design home, give Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling a call and see how we can make your home safe and accessible no matter your age or ability level.