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Huffington Post offers tips for safe housing for older people

10th September 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Writers for the Huffington Post have published a blog of tips to help older people continue to live safely in their homes. The piece is aimed at family members who can help older people get their homes in order, encouraging families to work together and communicate effectively with each other.

The blog post, which can be read here, begins by referring to a poll conducted by Rebuilding Together, an American non-profit organisation that aims to generate affordable homeownership and encourage neighbourhoods to thrive and develop a sense of community spirit. The poll showed that 92 per cent of American citizens over the age of 50 want to grow old in their own homes, a conclusion that is frequently echoed by people of the same age in the UK. Adapting a home to enable older people to be self-sufficient is one of the ways that the blog suggests will help older people remain safe and independent, and a number of low-cost modifications, medium-cost modifications and high-cost modifications were recommended.

Whilst stair lifts, one of the most useful additions to a home with stairs, were considered to be a high-cost modification, the authors of the blog had plenty of low-cost or no-cost alterations to suggest. As well as many of the suggestions being low in cost to implement, many of them require just a small amount of effort to create a big difference. Removing clutter was one of their top recommendations, a small task that can reduce the risk of tripping and falling, and reorganising was another suggestion, ensuring that the most frequently used items that older people use are within easy reach, particularly useful in the kitchen.

Medium-cost and high-cost modifications may come with a higher price tag, but they can also make a bigger difference to the safety of older people, particularly in terms of important daily tasks such as washing, cooking and using steps. The suggestions made in the Huffington Post blog are great ways of making the home a safe place for people with mobility difficulties and included a special cooking system that will turn off if accidentally left on, as well as poles and grab bars that can provide essential support in slippery areas or areas where standing up and sitting down is required. Stairlifts and walk in bath solutions were included in their recommended higher-cost modifications as the ultimate in safety when older people are carrying out tasks that present a high risk of slipping or falling, such as walking upstairs and bathing.

Image Credit: spader (flickr.com)