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Home Modifications for Seniors Aging in Place

Vickie Dellaquila - September 24, 2018 10:45 AM

Do you have an aging loved one? Are they ready for a change, but not ready to move out of their home yet? Aging in Place may be the right step for them. Aging in Place promotes staying in the home as long as possible by making modifications to the home.

There are many changes that you can make to ensure your loved one's home is safe and manageable for them. Aging in Place promotes making modifications to their current home that enables your loved one to stay in the same home they have lived most of their life.

So how do you begin the process of making modifications to your loved one's home? Do you need the help of a professional? Where do you start?

Here are some tips for making modifications to a loved one's home who will be Aging in Place:

Clear up any clutter: Making sure that steps, hallways, and doors are clear of clutter is a good first step. Clutter can be an obstacle that creates tripping, falling, and other unfortunate outcomes. Clearing clutter from main walkways will help to provide room for walkers, wheelchairs, or just extra room for assistance with walking.

Use organizing products to help manage stuff: Clearing up clutter is a great first step and using organizing products to help clear up the clutter can be a big help. Depending on what your loved one wants to keep, you may want to invest in some storage bins, totes, or other organizing products to keep their things maintained and organized.

Establish a timeline: Having a plan for the process is key. Whether you are going to tackle it room by room or start smaller, have a plan. Discuss the plan with your loved one so you are on the same page. Have a goal for how much time per day or how many days per week you will plan on going through items and making necessary modifications. Having a deadline will also help you both reach your Aging in Place goals.

Determine if any items are being donated and where to take them: clearing up clutter can result in many items your loved one didn't even realize they had. If they are willing to let go of unneeded items, make a donation pile. Determine where you can take the donations. Depending on what it is, you may be able to make a trip to your local Goodwill. Other items such as televisions require different donation centers. Do some research online for any items that are not accepted by Goodwill or other donation stores nearby.

Add any modifications as needed: Depending on the state of health your loved one is in, making modifications to the home may be necessary. Grab bars, wheelchair ramps, etc. should be installed by an Aging in Place specialist. They will have training on this type of work so you know that you can trust the newly added modifications to your loved one's home.

Call in a professional if needed: Senior Move Managers and NASMM@Home Specialists are equipped to help you and your aging loved one de-clutter, organize, and provide resources. This will help ensure that their living arrangements fit their current and future needs. Having the help of a professional can make the process easier on you and your aging loved one.

Vickie Dellaquila is Western Pennsylvania’s first Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization and owner of Organization Rules® Inc. Organization Rules provides compassionate organizing services for every stage of your life®. She is the author of Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Seniors Downsize, Organize, and Move. Please visit www.OrganizationRules.com.

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