This post was originally written before we built a separate website for consumers – Sage Tip.
Due to the popularity of this post, we have kept the original version on Sage in Home. For a revised version on www.sagetip.com, click here.
At Sage in Home, we encourage you to create a home for “active living”. Our top 5 reasons why home is best are:
1. Grandchildren, Family & Friends
The memories created in the family home are like a warm, welcoming blanket.
Who doesn’t love it when grandchildren ask about the family photos throughout the home?
If all you have to do is make some modifications to the family home to accommodate your active lifestyle, you are fortunate.
Be proactive and you may be staying there for years to come.
If it is the right time to leave the beloved family home, the next best is another home, whether it is a single family home, condominium, apartment or planned community, where you can live independently.
Unlike institutional living, “visiting hours” for grandchildren and friends are up to you!
2. Universal Design and Aging in Place Remodeling
Universal design is becoming more popular all the time.
It has become to be equated with clean lines, natural light and open spaces. From a technical standpoint, universal design has specific principles that professionals use to guide design and construction.
Help is getting easy to find! And, trained help makes it all easy!
Whether embarking on a home renovations or building a new home, you can now find trained remodelers, builders and designers who can help you plan a home for your active life.
Across North America, there are now over 5,000 professionals who have enhanced their core skills by becoming Certified Aging in Place Specialists. And, many more have studied Universal Design.
These experts have the training and experience to manage all the details (big and small) to meet your active lifestyle.
3. Health begins at Home
Health at home isn’t about eating well or getting exercise (although we should all do that).
Falling is the biggest single health risk for everyone, except 15 to 24 year olds. So we should be thinking aggressively about fall prevention for everyone in our home, including those who visit.
And, the construction of the home (e.g. stairs, floors) along with products in the home account for most falls among older adults.
Since we can modify our homes and make better decisions about products in the home, it’s no wonder the Centrers for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that falls are largely preventable.
Ready to get started? Looking for a helpful checklist? Follow these links (that open in a new window) for some checklists from the CDC and CHMC, a Canadian government agency:
- A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults (CDC)
- Maintaining Seniors’ Independence Through Home Adaptations – A Self-Assessment Guide (CHMC)
4. Small changes add up
Support her in staying in her home by adding some small changes such as grab bars, a bathing chair and a step stool to her bathroom.
Gradually introducing small changes for safety, comfort and ease of use will get you to the same place as a big “one-time” home safety overhaul.
For many of our aging fathers and mothers, these small improvements will be far less upsetting than a multi-faceted project trying to fix everything at once.
With small changes, the home is still familiar and disorientation is minimized. And, you – or a healthcare professional, if available, can take the time to encourage proper, safe use.
Some improvements, such as a handheld shower, might even be an appropriate gift.
Want to age gracefully yourself? Follow the same suggestions, selecting products to match your personal sense of style.
5. Home = Happiness
Studies show that most of us want to stay in our homes as we grow older. Our homes, and all that they represent to us, make us happy.
The older you are, the more likely you are to have a narrow definition of “home” – meaning that home is the house where you currently live.
And that house is likely the family home where you brought up your children.
Younger adults are a bit more flexible in defining “home”.
Many would be happy in a “down-sized” home in the same community where family and friends are nearby.
Our unbiased buying guides review products on a feature by feature basis. Also check out our Sage health & lifestyle icons to review daily living concerns due to mobility, vision and other challenges. And, don’t forget about Safety and Comfort Sage Tips to help you find products to match individual needs.
We also have directories of qualified professionals from not-for-profit resources to home remodelers.