Living in your home as you grow older is an important part of retaining your independence; you want to have a space you can call your own, where your choices are implemented to suit you best. One important consideration as you age is that what used to work for you in your home may no longer be suitable to your needs; mobility, visibility and security concerns can all change as you age. You want your home to work for you, after all; here’s what you need to keep in mind.

For mobility, you want to acknowledge that your range of motion may begin to dwindle over time. That means it’s important to have a home with no steps up to the front door; you want it on the ground level, so that it’s easy to enter, exit and maintain. In the same vein, you want the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom of your home to be on the first floor, so as to avoid problems with steps. You want your kitchen shelves and cabinets to be easy to reach; bending over too far to reach something or reaching too high and having it fall can all be dangerous. If you must have shelves in high places, you might invest in a no-slip step stool with a handle, so it’s easier to reach high-up spots. These rules apply to the bathroom, too. Showers and toilets can also have special mobility considerations; grab bars and non-slip strips and mats in the bathroom can save you a great deal of hassle.

Lighting is extremely important to consider in all of your rooms and hallways; a fall can become quite dangerous as you age, especially if you have diseases like osteoporosis. A well-illuminated area free of clutter will reduce the risk of falls, so be sure to have bright lights throughout the house, and to clean regularly. Should you have difficulties managing the cleaning or other tasks like grocery shopping and medication management, trustful home care services can help.

Criminals target the elderly, so security concerns being to change as you age. If ramps or other mobility features are noticed around the house, criminals are more likely to scout it for a potential break-in; an alarm system and locks on every exterior door are essential. Peepholes are a handy way to see who is at the door without opening it; chain latches are another way of peeking without opening. Should anyone call about winnings, or ask for money, you should call a relative to confirm the information; oftentimes, criminals will exploit a lack of knowledge about new technologies in order to engage in fraud.

You should have functioning fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor in case of an emergency; equally important is a telephone within reach at all times. Cellphones are a great way of achieving it; barring that, opt to have a landline on every floor of the home.

Independence within your own living space is achievable; be mindful about your own needs, and talk with friends and family about practical solutions for your challenges.