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Front Page - Friday, October 4, 2019

Living in your home after retirement

As baby boomers in the Tennessee Valley approach retirement age, many are opting to remain in their homes. If you’re among this growing population of aging adults, it’s important to make sure your home has both long- and short-term solutions to ensure your safety and comfort throughout your golden years.

Here are several tips to help make sure any environment is optimal for aging in place.


Without proper illumination throughout your home, you might be exposing yourself to a potential slip and fall. Night or security lights inside and outside your home allow you to safely walk around in the dark. Dimmable lighting fixtures in common areas and hallways are also options to consider.


Examine the seating options in your home. Do you have a sofa or chair that’s too soft or too low? Certain types of seating can make it difficult sit or get up easily. Consider adding appropriately firm furniture options to your home. Chairs or sofas higher off the ground with sturdy arms can minimize discomfort.


Any type of throw rug or bathmat can become a tripping hazard if they’re not properly secured. If you don’t want to remove your rug, nonslip pads can help – but they’re not a full-proof option. Apply double-sided carpet tape or caulk to securely attach the rug to the floor. The limitation with this option is that the floor underneath might be damaged if not set properly.


There is an array of appliances to improve ease of use around the kitchen. Lever-handle faucets with a pullout spray, a raised dishwasher to avoid back strain and a side-by-side refrigerator with slide-out shelves are great options.

Other modifications to your kitchen, such as installing a pullout cutting board or larger cabinets with drawer pulls, can make cooking in your home more enjoyable.


Lever handles on faucets and a slide-bar-type hand-held shower are attractive options for boomers. You might want to install a curbless shower. Not only does this type of adjustment help you from stepping over something, curbless showers can be rolled into with a wheelchair if necessary.

A builder or remodeler with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation can help you or your loved one find customized designs for your home. Visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at www.HBAGC.net to help you find a builder or remodeler in your area with a CAPS designation.