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Home modifications can help seniors stay safe, save money

December 13, 2012

It's not unusual for seniors to make changes around their home to ensure their safety, but experts say doing so could actually help them save money as well. Small changes around the home could reduce utility bills and other expenses, according to StatePoint.

Many older adults make a point to improve the lighting throughout their house. Doing so can help vision impaired seniors stride more confidently, and experts recommend installing motion sensor lights to help cut energy bills. Having lights that come on and off once homeowners enter a room can help ensure they aren't left on needlessly. Not only will it save money, it is an effective way to go green.

"You don't need to completely remodel your home - there are small things you can do now to make it more accessible as the aging process evolves, while also making it better for the environment," Joyce Polhamus, chair of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Design for Aging Knowledge Community, told StatePoint.

Changes to appliances can make life easier for seniors who may no longer be able to comfortably bend down to fill the dishwasher or reach into the washing machine. Putting these devices on a higher surface will help reduce some of the challenges, and in some cases newer, more energy-efficient models will save money.

Of course, not all changes are designed simply to save money, others are critical to healthy aging. According to the National Aging in Place Council, modifications such as stepless entryways and grab bars in the bathroom can help prevent falls and other threats to senior health.