tips to age safely at home

The best time to make changes to your home is when you don’t actually need them.  Planning ahead is truly the best option. Being proactive instead of reactive will allow you to make changes gradually without stress.

1) Avoid wall to wall carpeting. It traps all types of pathogens and requires a good amount of maintenance over time. If you love rugs, use heavy area rugs and place double sided tape or rug liners beneath them so they don’t move.

2) Floors and walls should be a different color. Try to avoid patterns on the floor, as this can create an illusion that the floor is floating for someone who has low vision.

3) Non-slip flooring without glare is ideal. Glare can throw off depth perception as you get older.

4) Wear appropriate footwear at home. Designate a new pair of comfortable and supportive sneakers for indoor use only. Wear these around your home to reduce back pain, increase stability and decrease your risk of falling.

5) Make sure you have good lighting inside and outside your home. Outdoor motion sensor lighting can help prevent falls on the way into your residence. For inside, add strip lighting to illuminate places such as the floor line of a bathroom vanity or inside dark kitchen cupboards.

6) Place nightlights in all hallways and bathrooms. Nighttime trips to the bathroom are a common time for falls. Keep a flashlight at your bedside to take with you in case the power goes out.

7) Install a grab bar vertically at the entrance to your bathtub or walk-in shower.

8) Place non-slip strips along the floor of your tub or shower, along with a non-slip bath mat, to help prevent falls.

9) Move frequently used items to counter top level to avoid having to reach high above your head or down below your waist.

10) Declutter! Remove unnecessary items from your home. The more open space you have, the less likely you are to trip over something. Donate items you have not used in years. Having clutter in your home can make you feel out of control. Remember, less is more!


Article provided by Lauren Cohen, Occupational Therapist, and Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Her company LiveWell Modifications helps people address the challenges of independent living as they age. She can be reached at 201-960-0506 or emailed at;

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