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For many seniors, aging in place is important, since it helps them stay in their own homes for as long as possible while staying safe. It’s not always easy to do, however, especially when the senior has health or mobility issues. Even a relatively new home may not have all the resources they need, such as doorways that are wide enough to fit a wheelchair or other equipment, and it can be costly to make those kinds of modifications on their own dime.
One of the best ways to make your home safer is to start small with cost-efficient methods that will be easy to take on yourself, without hiring a contractor. This might include adding grab bars and non-slip mats in the shower, painting the walls behind appliances a contrasting color to make them easier to see and changing out door knobs for easy-to-grab handles. The easiest change you can make is to your lighting, which can help tremendously when you have a vision impairment. The right light can help prevent falls and allow you to take care of your daily activities without stress or fear of injury.
Keep reading for some great tips on how lighting changes can help you age in place safely.
Exposed light bulbs can cause a glare, making it more difficult to see even when the light is bright, so always use a lampshade or fixture. Try to keep light levels consistent in each area of your home so there won’t be dramatic changes as you move from room to room. If possible, have a skylight installed in the living area of your home, as natural light is always best.
Install task lighting
Task lighting is a huge benefit for seniors, as it makes daily activities and chores much easier. This kind of lighting is usually found in the kitchen, where you can see to chop vegetables and prepare meals much more easily. You might place it beneath tall cabinets, and it’s a good idea to use LED lights, as they last much longer and will save you money in the long run.
Since stairways can be a serious source of injury for seniors, it’s a good idea to add lighting to these areas as well. Have an electrician come out and install bright lighting at both the top and bottom to keep things safe.
Having a dimmer switch in the rooms you use the most can help you adjust the lighting to whichever task you’re currently working on, and it can be a real benefit on the days when you aren’t feeling well and want to rest but still need lighting.
Lamps can be your best friend
While natural light is best, lamps can also be utilized around the house to add extra illumination in the areas you need it the most. If you’re an avid reader, or if you have a hobby such as sewing or working on puzzles, having portable light can be a huge benefit. Look for floor lamps that have some height, as well as smaller ones that can be moved around to your favorite spots in the house.
Do some research
No matter what kind of lighting you choose for your home, it’s important to do some research and learn all you can about wattage and how different bulbs work. Some are more energy efficient and will last longer; others are better suited for only certain tasks.
Making small changes to your lighting can make a big difference when it comes to getting daily tasks accomplished and staying safe. Go from room to room in your home and look for ways you can improve the illumination in each area. Think about your chores and daily tasks to get an idea of what your needs will be.