Home Safe Home
Is Your Home Ready for Your Future Needs?
By the time we find our place in this world and we have planted roots, raised a family and become part of a community, it can be difficult, for some, to consider uprooting and making another move in later years.
Increasingly, baby boomers are making the decision to live in their family home for the duration. Although this is a great option for many aging adults, let us not overlook the fact that most homes are not well equipt with the aging adult in mind, especially those with dementia
or Alzheimer’s Disease
- 5.1 Americans currently have Alzheimer Disease. That is 13% of population.
- 70% of people with some form of memory dementia live at home
- Only 5% of nursing home beds are allocated for Alzheimer’s Disease
- By 2030, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase 50% to 7.7 million
- By 2050, that rate is expected to reach 16 million
- Twice as many women as men will suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease- women live longer
The Basics: It is necessary for a caregiver or family member to regularly evaluate your aging adults home for safety concerns as needs may vary dramatically and change over time. This basic checklist will help you begin assessing the home for upcoming changes.
- De-clutter: Clutter can result from an inability to care for one’s home, or is the outcome of Hoarding tendencies. It is important to understand the difference, as the approach to eliminating clutter will be different.
- Clear out closets and limit options: Options become overwhelming as Alzheimer disease progresses.
- Furniture placement: Critically assess furniture placement as it pertains to safety such as providing clear pathways and eliminating the potential for falls or other accidents. Don’t move furniture unless necessary as this may be confusing.
- Area rugs: Remove rugs that are not securely affixed to the floor.
- Lighting: Increase incandescent lighting in general. Increase lighting in task specific areas- under cabinets, near a favorite chair, along walkways. Include nightlights in bed/bath.
- Décor: Busy furniture patterns, decorations and wallpaper can be confusing for individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Replace with solid contrasting colors.
- Important Documents: Important documents should be organized and easily accessible by family and/or caregiver. Assess what information is available to an individual with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Doors and Locks: If wandering is an issue, install appropriate locks. Be sure there is a spare key safely concealed outside of the home should you get locked out or a friend/neighbor need to get inside.
- Designate a locked location for items that may become dangerous such as cleaning supplies and tools.
Taking it One Step Further: Making structural changes as it relates to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Aging in Place are often necessary steps toward creating a safe, universal and barrier free design that is comfortable and non-institutional for all residence. An Aging in the Home assessment should consider current as well as anticipated needs and should be done by a certified and trained specialist.
Please contact S.O.S. for a detailed discussion on how we can assess your seniors home for safety concerns.
Please share your successful strategies to ensure your seniors safety in their home.
The S.O.S. Crew
Signature Organizing Service (S.O.S) receive their
Living By Design Specialist Certification
Over 6.6 million U.S. households report at least 3 generations are living under one roof. This is a 30% increase from 2000 (AARP). Eighty percent of adults over 65 report plans to age in the home they currently reside. Homes are busting at the seams and the aging population are needing to consider Universal Design ideas for safe living. Ultimately, methods are available to both groups that can make these changes safe and assessable by all.
Aging in Place and Multigenerational living is more common today given high rates of unemployment, the housing crisis, the high cost of assisted living and skilled nursing, the sandwich generation caring for children and parents simultaneously, young families needing help with childcare, and longer life expectancy. This trend will continue to grow given that by 2019, 76 million baby boomers will be over 55 years of age and caring for an aging parent. Contractors and Realtors have discovered a trend in homebuyers searching for multigenerational living accommodations as well as new construction with Universal Design considerations. Trends in living arrangements have been met with a need to review traditional one-family homes and the possibilities that are available to accommodate seniors and multiple generations.
As Certified Living By Design Specialist, the S.O.S. Crew can help seniors choosing to live independently in their home as well as families needing to accommodate for more than one generation. We do this by identifying and creating appropriate and safe spacing environments in their home. Changes in the family structure – expected or unexpected- can be a welcomed relief for all, or can create stress and frustration. Knowing what questions to ask family members, establishing boundaries and expectations as well as taking into consideration the codes and laws that accompany any remodel are all factors that play into changes in living arrangements.
As Professional Organizers and Certified Relocation & Transition and Design Specialist we will create solutions and assist with a comprehensive plan that will accommodate more than one family and will last a lifetime. The S.O.S. Crew are trained for Universal and Smart Design for Seniors, which includes safety and health concerns such as vision and hearing, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. The S.O.S. Crew are also trained to assist families experiencing a need to maximize their space due to multiple families residing under one roof.
Stay tuned for more detailed information on how a Universal and Living By Design approach can help you.
Please share with us your challenges with Multigenerational living and your concerns about Aging in Place. We want to hear from you.
The S.O.S. Crew