Preparing for Retirement: Improving Safety in Your Home

Homes for the elderly population are becoming sparser. While many senior adults own their homes by the time they reach retirement, there are those who continue to require rental properties. Whether renting or buying, one of the key factors that influence the health of the elderly population involves the home they reside in.

Familiarity with a home environment is the main focus of safety for senior adults. When living in a home that is quite familiar, there is a reduced risk for accidents, falls and injuries. Therefore, in anticipation of retirement, it is important to find a stable residence that is familiar to you, and one that is modified for safety. In fact, in many communities, there is a growing push to reach out to the elderly population in an effort to provide educational on home safety and home modification recommendations.

If you are considering home modifications to improve age-related safety, most modifications can be done without the use of a handy-man or contractor. Simple changes such as the removal of throw rungs, installation of grab bars and even ensuring lighting is well maintained; these are all simple modifications you can do on your own.

If your community offers an outreach program for seniors, the outreach most likely offers services and support for home modification services in addition to information on health services, financial services and various other social support services. Understanding that communities, as a whole, benefit from allowing seniors to continue living in their own homes, these outreach services are designed to promote that independence which, ultimately, may alleviate the surmounting medical and welfare costs associated with more dependent living.

As you prepare for retirement, it is important to consider the issues that involve not only your housing options but what modifications, within that home, will be necessary to ensure your safety and your continued independence. When planning for retirement, consult your local community senior center, or retirement outreach organization, for information on home modification and safety support programs for the elderly. With their guidance and support, you can make the simplest changes that will, ultimately, work to protect your health and welfare and provide for a better outcome for your family as well.

Simple home modifications provide for profound changes and allow you to take control of your future, ultimately leading to longevity and the ability to continue living in familiar surroundings rather than in dependent-living housing.

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