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  • A Low or NO Cost Common Sense Review of Your Home

    Aaron Murphy

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    Hey everyone, it's Aaron Murphy, founder of Forever Home. You can find us online at foreverhome us. com. Today's video blog is titled, A Low or No Cost and a Common Sense Review of Your Home. So if 89 percent of those pulled by AARP favor aging in place as a first priority and preference, what are the best ways that we can still be thinking about safely staying in our own homes longer as we get up in age? 

    Each year, millions of older Americans fall at home. Many of them are seriously injured. Some are disabled by those injuries and falls. In 2020, more than 36, 000 people over the age of 65 died. And 2. 8 million were treated in emergency departments because of falls. This number has increased by 59 percent in the last 10 years. 

    A quarter of people over 65 years old fall each year. Half of those falls are recurrent. 1 out of 10 falls results in a serious injury or death. 87 percent of elder fractures are due to falls. Balls are often due to hazards that are easy to overlook but also easy to fix. We all get busy with our own lives and we go about our daily routine without ever thinking or taking a moment to look down from that 50, 000 foot level. 

    We're busy staring at that one tree in the forest and can't really see the to do list of priorities. That you could if you zoomed out for a minute, so let's do that. Let's back up, take a deep breath, and look around in our own homes and our parents homes. But first, please put on your common sense glasses. 

    You know, the ones with the tint of, oh, well that's obvious, in the lens. All right, so a low or no cost and common sense review of your house. Number one, furniture layout. Is the path in your home unnecessarily circuitous to get through and around all the pieces of furniture? Are there legs and arms that stick out into the easiest route of travel through the home? 

    Fix it. Make moving around in your house a clear, wide, and intuitive path. Number two, rugs. Lose the throw type of rug. Those loose ones are the top culprits for Elder Falls. In the bathroom and the kitchen, they love to decorate and they love their small memory and collection type items. We understand that, but that little 24 by 42 inch rug that she got on a trip to Maine in the 70s that lays in front of the kitchen sink or just inside the entry door can be the end of living at home. 

    If we aren't careful and aware, your favorite throw, it's gotta go. Number 3, drop zones. Ask my wife where she finds things of mine when I'm on a deadline, or otherwise heads down and distracted. I leave a trail of set downs, shoes on the stairs, planter on the dining room table, keys, wallet in the window sill by the front door. 

    You get the idea. We all do it, and so do our parents. The difference is that if they leave that pile of reading sections of the newspaper on the third step of the stairs, the next time they go out to the garage, maybe they forgot about that. It could send them from the 3rd step straight to the bottom step. 

    That minor oversight could turn a trip to the recycling bin into a trip to the ER and surgery room. Pick up and put up your things so they aren't in your walking spaces and routes of travel. Number 4, stairs and thresholds. Since we're talking better on a budget, I won't go into it here about how much cheaper a stowed chair or even an elevator in your home is versus a slip and fall cost of moving into assisted living after a surgery or a nursing home for months and years ahead. 

    Just know that that number is humongous and the savings of staying home is significant. Here I want to think more about the maintenance and upkeep. Stairs with carpets are notorious for coming loose over time. The angle and the speed the installers staple the tread and riser at the corners especially, that back interior corner, can lead to attachments that aren't fully sunken in, and they will become unsecure over time. 

    A loosening carpet can cause your next step to a missed stair tread, and you'll be at the bottom sooner than you intended. Wood stairs are slippery. To many of the warm socks and slippers that old folks like to wear for warmth on their feet, extremities being the first thing to get cold, and that can be a safety issue to keep your stair carpet tightly affixed. 

    Number five floors and moisture overly smooth floors finishes hardwoods tiles and wet rooms are also regular culprits to serious injury or falls and older Americans. This can be not just due to the occupant, sometimes even due to the caregiver who's trying to help the older person with their ADLs, activities of daily living for you occupational therapists, keeping your floor areas clear, and applications to the floor surfaces that help create some grit for traction where floor areas get wet are crucial to keeping us safe in our homes as we bathe and get ready in the bathroom or work in the laundry area. 

    Number six, reaching and stability. Are you using things in your upper kitchen cabinets that you need daily or weekly? Move them down. There's a cost alternative, which is to equipment retrofit your upper cabinets to come out and down to the user. Or getting someone to help you reorganize your kitchen, but bending from the waist and with your legs is the strongest muscle group. 

    And so reaching down and lifting with your legs, what makes way more sense than trying to get the crock pot down from above your shoulder height. Using a step stool, a safe one is an option and they also make even toe kicks that will pull out from the bottom of your cabinet that can become a step. 

    These are just a few ways that you can take a quick look at your home or your parents home and hopefully keep your folks safer, happier. Independent and autonomous home longer. For more of the latest tips and tricks and the most up to date industry insights and trends, visit and to subscribe today. 

    If you found our content to be valuable to your success with Aging in Place Housing solutions, please help us spread the word by liking this video on YouTube and subscribing to our channel here. Join us at Forever Home to stay informed as we continue to educate the nation on all the newest information that is creating successful outcomes at home in the 50 plus marketplace. 

    Until next time, remember business owners, learn it, hone it, work it, own it. 

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