Creating A Healthy Home

 Posted by Scott Urlacher on September 13, 2019 at 6:58 AM

 

The comfort of aging in a house you’ve made a home with memories and special moments is the way many older adults envision spending the later years of their lives. Although it seems simple to stay where you are, making the decision to age in place should be followed up with careful thought and planning to maintain quality of life, independence, and a healthy environment.

September is Healthy Aging Month. We understand the importance of a healthy home for older adults and want to help you create a place you can enjoy being the best version of you. The biggest concerns most older adults face are safety, accessibility, and sustainable independence. We have tips to help you or a loved one create a healthy home to age in place.

 

It is Imperative to Clear the Clutter

As a home becomes more “lived in” over the years, an accumulation of physical representations of special moments happens over that time. From gifts from loved ones, keepsakes, photos, furniture and items with fond memories to storing special items for friends or loved ones, treasured items continue to be acquired and admired. Quite often the memories attached to what we have is more powerful than the item itself. To put this accumulation in perspective it’s important to know the average American home has over 300,000 items. 

In an ourparents.com article titled Dealing with the Dangers of Clutter, senior industry expert Chris Seman explains the dangers of clutter. One serious danger for older adults is “the risks for personal injury, such as trips and falls.” There are financial risks as well, and homeowners with clutter “frequently pay to replace household items because they are more vulnerable to being crushed, broken, or lost.” One other byproduct of clutter is structural damage “due to vents being blocked [and] obstructing airflow, causing moisture, and creating costly damage from mold.” 

Most often, it takes the average family 9 to 18 months to completely clear the home after a major life event. No matter how you begin, remember the great benefits of decluttering for your health. If you are overwhelmed with the thought of decluttering on your own, companies like Caring Transitions can help.

 

Make changes for accessibility and comfort.

Remove any slip or trip hazards from the floor.

It’s important to remove items like worn rugs, excess furniture, exposed cords, or any other objects that will obscure a clear moving path.

Keep high use items in a convenient place.

All of us take comfort in very specific items. It could be a favorite blanket, a coffee mug, a cozy sweater. Whatever “it” is, the best way for an older adult aging in place to enjoy it is in a convenient way. Placing items strategically encourages use that does not require a constant search to use a treasured item. The best way to accomplish this is choosing clear dedicated spaces for the items loved and used most. The more the placement is suited for ease of use, the better. 

Be sure to keep the home bright and open.

Lighting the home properly has benefits above and beyond sight itself. According to the American Academy of Opthamology, “seniors may have both a higher need for natural light and a harder time getting it than do younger people. A part of the natural light spectrum, called blue light, is important for our ability to maintain healthy bodily rhythms… like circadian rhythms or biorhythms.” Some experts even suggest using brighter bulbs, hanging colorful artwork, or opening windows, curtains, and blinds to let more natural light in as well.

 

Consider Services to Make Home Maintenance Simple

Maintaining an excellent quality of life is key to enjoying and benefitting from aging in place. Daily chores and upkeep can be overwhelming if you have no desire to or are unable to complete them. From chores like housecleaning, decluttering, yard work, grocery shopping, and laundry to painting and maintenance, there are services available to help. 

Everyday repair, cleaning and yard work tasks that used to be simple can become increasingly more difficult for older adults. In many cases an extra layer of risk for falls and injuries increases with time. A healthy home requires consistent upkeep, so finding the right resource to help you complete your chore list can be very beneficial. 

Find a resource that specializes in house care and repair.

Senior centric companies like TruBlue House Care, specialize in house care services both interior and exterior. The benefit of a professional resource is often the thorough approach and attention to that goes above and beyond what we can do on our own. 

Learn more about how TruBlue can help you or a loved one here

Find a resource that specializes in tasks to maintain or increase your property value.

Taking care of your home as you age in place is a great way to maintain the value of the home and in some cases improve it. Wear and tear on your home exterior and interior will occur over time. Look for senior friendly companies like Fresh Coat Painters to help you keep your home in good condition with paint services, pressure washing, or other interior and exterior updates.

Learn more about how Fresh Coat can help you or a loved one here

Consider services that help with daily tasks.

Find services that ease the burdens of everyday tasks that may become a challenge I the future. As a growing number of older adults choose to age in place, a host of services that specialize in helping seniors remain independent become easily available. Some of the services that are most helpful for daily tasks are:

  • Grocery Delivery and Pickup
  • Meal Delivery Services
  • Errand Services
  • Transportation Services
  • Online Banking
  • Online Shopping
  • Virtual Health Services

With so many benefits to clearing your home of clutter, planning for accessibility, and scheduling upkeep, taking time to think through how you’d like to enjoy your home is the best way to put your well-being first. Creating a plan to create a healthy home for aging in place is the smartest way to enjoy your home for many years to come. The benefits can extend your quality of life now and in the long run.