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Simple home modification for aging in place
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The icy weather during the Farm and Ranch Expo prevented one of our speakers from driving to Great Bend to share the fact sheet she authored titled, “Simple Home Modification for Aging in Place.” Carol Ann Crouch, the Scott County Family and Consumer Science Agent did a great job putting this fact sheet together and it is available to anyone who may be reading this column.
People use the term “aging in place” to mean different things. For some it means you live or stay in the community where you currently reside. Others may use it as a way to explain the benefits of living in an inclusive retirement community. The National Association of Home Builders define aging in place as “remaining in one’s home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.”
There are several benefits to modifying homes to age in place. These benefits vary depending on the home’s occupants. To some, the benefits would be cost savings; to others, it would be improved safety. Independence could also be a benefit. Simple modifications may allow people to stay in their homes longer, which also helps people maintain a sense of dignity.
Cost can certainly be a significant factor when considering home modifications. Even simple home modifications can range from inexpensive to more costly, depending upon the changes needed. For example, placing a chair at the end of a hallway is simple and inexpensive. Adding a handrail along the length of a hallway is another simple modification that could cost a little more if you need to hire someone to do the work. The cost of some simple modifications may seem extravagant, but they do not normally add up to the cost of a month of assisted living or nursing home care.
Before home modifications can be made, an assessment of the home needs to be taken. This is easy to do working from one room to another. In each room ask what adjustments should be made to the room to make the space safer and more accessible. Assessing the rooms individually will keep the task from becoming overwhelming.
For more information about this important topic, either stop by 1800 12th Street or call me at 793-1910. You may also e-mail me at dkrug@ksu.edu
Donna Krug is a family and consumer science agent with K-State Research and Extension – Barton County. Her e-mail address is dkrug @ksu.edu.