Positive Discussions: How to Approach Home Updates with Older Adults

In 2013, one in three older Americans are expected to experience a fall – the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older Americans. But older adults often shy away from the conversation of making home improvements due to their increasing age.

Peter Jacobson, president of Stay at Home Renovation, offers the following tips to help caretakers approach this potentially delicate topic with a loved one.

These updates will look great in your home. Today’s architects and designers are skilled at incorporating universal design features such as railings, task lighting and wheelchair ramps without disrupting the design aesthetic. The updates should blend into the home while increasing safety.

You will increase the value of your home. Well integrated universal design solutions will increase a home’s value and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

This will help make your home safe and comfortable for your guests. Even if your loved one doesn’t have physical challenges at the moment, they may have friends or family members who would benefit from greater accessibility. Universal design helps homes become suitable for guests of all ages, including grandchildren.

The costs associated with a fall are more expensive than some simple home updates. On average, an adult age 72 or older will spend $19,440 in healthcare costs as a result of a fall injury. Home updates to help adults avoid falling can start at just $5 – the cost of a non-slip mat.

It’s better to tackle updates now, before you are forced to. Even an ailment such as the common cold can increase lower body weakness and make older adults more prone to falling. Taking on updates now will be less stressful, and offer you more time to consider aesthetics, than taking on updates when they are urgently needed.

Creating a safe and aesthetically pleasing environment is a primary concern for many aging adults and their caretakers. Stay at Home Renovations offers design and construction services to adults wishing to age in place, rather than spend their elder years in a retirement community.

For additional tips and information on how to transform your home in order to age in place, visit Stay at Home Renovations at www.stayathomerenovation.com.

Data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Council on Aging