Attorney With The Hale Law Firm Remarks On Safer Homes For Seniors
Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 9, 2013 - Homes may need modifications to be made safe for seniors, says a prominent elder law attorney.
Many older people prefer “aging in place,” staying in their homes, rather than moving to an assisted living facility. Staying in one's home is more comfortable for most seniors and makes economic sense as well, since the cost of assisted living facilities is rising. However, there are changes seniors may want to make in order to make their home safer, according to John Hale, an elder law attorney based in the Dallas, Texas area.
“Home naturally feels safe,” said Hale. “But as people age, it is important to know that changes may need to be made in one's home to keep it safe.”
Older people may have difficulty walking up and down stairs or getting in and out of chairs, and they may be at increased risk for accidents, such as burning themselves on a hot stove or slipping in the bathtub.
The first thing to do is take stock of the potential dangers in a senior's home. The Home Safety Council has a website, MySafeHome.net, that points out potential hazards. Sometimes simple changes can help a lot, but they are not always obvious. The Safety Council recommends changes like installing brighter light bulbs and removing area rugs.
An elder with multiple health issues may benefit from having an occupational therapist visit the home to analyze potential problems and recommend modifications specific to the situation. Once the needs have been identified, the occupational therapist can write a plan for a contractor to follow. Modifications may include grab bars in bathrooms, threshold ramps at doorways or raising the height of chairs to make them easier to get out of.
Of course, cost is a concern for most seniors. If someone has long-term care insurance, their policy may pay for modifications, if the need for them is properly documented. A home equity loan or reverse mortgage are other options that can help pay for substantial modifications.
“Most seniors find living at home to be the preferable option,” said Hale. “Take care to make sure it's a safe option, as well.”
The Hale Law Firm
100 Executive Court, Suite 3
Waxahachie, TX 75165
The Hale Law Firm
4925 Greenville Avenue #200
Dallas, TX 75206
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