The home should be a safe haven, but each year more than 1 out of 4 older people fall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To make aging in place safer, consider these tips:
- Bathroom. Install a comfort-height toilet with grab bars on the side and back walls, says Chicago interior designer Leslie Markman-Stern, president of Leslie M. Stern Design. Also, put grab bars in the shower to help with transferring and support.
- Rugs. Eliminate area rugs to avoid slippage, Markman-Stern says. “For wall-to-wall carpet, use a flat, low-pile carpet or one with short, tight loops, which will present less of a trip hazard for those able-bodied, using a walker or a cane.”
- Lighting. Illuminate dark and dangerous areas with LED lights, which have a high light quality. “Good lighting design, with numerous LED options, is also important because seniors may have vision issues,” says interior designer Drina Nikola, owner of Dwelling Spaces + Places in Evanston.