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  • What If Your HOME Could Save You From The ER?

    Aaron D. Murphy

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    Your home could save you from the ER. Imagine if a few design changes in your home would actually prevent the distressing and extremely costly trip to the emergency room. Wouldn't that be the preference? Hi, I'm Aaron Murphy. I'm a licensed architect and passionate about designing homes that aren't just beautiful, but safe and functional, especially as we age. I'm the owner and founder of Forever Home, and today I wanted to discuss how your house could actually be the real first line of defense against hospital visits. Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults. The cost, not just pain and discomfort, but expensive emergency room visits, rehabilitation, and often readmissions. The average cost of a fall resulting in a hospital visit can quickly run into the tens of thousands of dollars before we even talk about the physical and emotional toll. Let's think about that. If we're looking at $30,000 in bills, maybe before if you've fallen, broke a hip, before insurance figures out what they're gonna pay and tries to pay as little as possible, maybe there's a surgery, maybe we have six to eight weeks of OT or PT rehab. Maybe we have to go back if there's complications or the home isn't ready for us when we get home. When I start adding that stuff up and thinking about $50,000 for a fall, suddenly remodeling a bathroom for grab bars or getting rid of stairs or steps or changing a bathroom for safety before a fall, that starts to sound quite a bit better cost-wise than all that hospital and rehab and OT and maybe more often than you know, you never come home. because you can't, because your house isn't ready. So what if we could fix that? What if your house could be your first line of defense? Not to mention post-COVID, quite honestly, everybody's heard the story about shortages at hospitals and doctors and staffing. And I don't want my mom waiting in a hallway for a day and a half to get seen. Yeah, that's all scary. So what I suggest is when you're talking to your partner or your parents or whoever that might be for you, when you're discussing with your loved ones, talk about it as investing in yourselves. Okay, your house can become part of your safety plan. The changes can improve your quality of life, your independence, they can keep you comfortable and confident at home. And all the polls say that's where you want to be and that's where you want to stay. So what are you doing proactively to assist in that outcome of your goal and dream? Many healthcare studies, many doctors talk about the importance of a home safe environment. But 96% of our homes are not equipped for a change in mobility. So how do you get started? Get a home safety assessment. Identify the potential fall hazards and where are the areas of improvements. Wet rooms go first. It's usually the bathroom, then the laundry room, and then the kitchen in that order. And then the other places are about trip and fall hazards. Consult a professional. The great part, if you're talking to your parents, when you hire somebody, when they come in, the stranger is the expert. And then they can guide about smart and functional alterations. Your home can be more than just your sanctuary. It could actually be a tool that keeps you out of the ER. Invest in home remodeling. It's cost effective when you compare it to the cost of if not. That's when you get a phone call that mom in another state or dad across the country has slipped and fallen and hit their head and they're going to the hospital and now you as the adult child even are in a emotional and financial backpedaling trying to solve a problem that is immediately in panic mode and you're in the 11th hour. Let's make your house part of your safety plan. Consider those changes you can make today to ensure a safer tomorrow for you and your loved ones, your family members. If you need help, reach out to us for personal advice. There's plenty of ways to get ahold of me at If you like what we have to say here, subscribe to our YouTube channel, sign up for our newsletter at for homeowners and professionals to learn more about creating a safer and an age-friendly home for every chapter of life. Join me next time, we're gonna talk a little bit about innovation design solutions for accessible living. In the meantime, stay safe, stay informed, and let's make our homes a part of our guardian forecast. Take care, thank you very much.

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