News 12 First at Five / Thursday, June 7, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- At some point in our lives, we all will need to think about getting older and ask ourselves whether we will be able to get around in our own homes.
The key for aging homeowners is to prevent falls and injuries before they happen by proactively addressing safety issues in the home -- and that may mean they need to remodel.
Falling is the leading cause of death from injury in adults over the age of 65. This means you need to make your home as safe as possible to prevent falls. When you remodel, you may want to think about installing grab bars, widening doorways for walkers or wheelchairs, eliminating steps and replacing traditional bathtubs with walk-in shower tubs.
You also may want to think about hiring a certified aging-in-place specialist.
"A certified aging-in-place specialist is an expert in getting your home ready for a senior to live in. They understand exactly what needs to be done to make the home safe: what flooring needs to be in place, what hallways you need for wheelchair accessibility and even getting the bathroom retrofitted to be a safe place for the senior," says Angie Hicks of Angie's List.
Home modifications for seniors can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on what you need.
If you're going to live in your house for five to 10 years, it could very well be a good return on investment. Remember, you're never too early to start planning for the future.