Bedroom Location and Safety Features
As you age, it is best for your bedroom to be located on the main level of your home. It makes for easier access to and from the other primary rooms. If you do not have a bedroom on the main floor, you may want to consider converting an existing room to a bedroom, or building an addition. You will want a master bathroom as well. This type of conversion or addition may not be possible with the existing floor plan. If that is the case, you should consider installing a chair lift or elevator to make the trip to another level of the home easier.
You should consider safety features in the design of your bedroom. This includes adequate space for maneuvering with a walker or wheelchair, proper flooring to avoid tripping, and appropriately placed grab bars.
Beds and Bed Accessories
As you age, getting in and out of bed may become an issue as your physical capabilities diminish. You can also choose adjustable beds, and ones that are fairly low to the ground. Adding safety handles and rails to the bed can allow for easier access and reduce the potential for falling. These types of safety rails can be found at many home health stores and websites. Handles are made in a variety of styles and quality. You may also want to consider an overbed bedside table for use in eating, reading, and working in bed.
Closets and Clutter
The way you organize your closets, and the amount of clutter within them, can contribute to your likelihood of becoming injured. If you store heavy items or often-used items on higher shelves, you may be setting yourself up for an accident or injury. Cluttered closets may require you to move items around, and often can lead to items falling.
Organizing a closet for aging in place is not difficult and could keep you from getting hurt. A great way to de-clutter your closet is by use of a closet system. Major home improvement stores sell hardware for closet systems, and many also offer installation services. Adding an adjustable shelving system will allow you to customize according to your needs.
Return to Chapter 9 page.