The number of age in place websites is growing even though aging in place is still far from being a buzz word. These websites present many of the same age friendly solutions.
Is there an entrance yo your home that can be called external zero barrier access? That translates to, is there at least one entrance into your home that does not require any steps. Thresholds can be tricky, even an elevation of a 2-3 inches can be more trouble as you age or need to roll over it with one of those spiffy walkers. There are small threshold ramps than can be added. But DISCLAIMER but install at your own risk, unless you consult a professional .
Do you have the space to put a more significant ramp in front or back? If not, would you consider a mechanical lift to give you independent access. Another suggestion, have a table by your entrance were you can put groceries etc while you get your keys.
Part of gracefully aging in place is allowing yourself to visualize how will this work when you are more advanced in your years. If visiting older relatives/ friends struggle to get in and out of your house, then start doing something now. The concept of visitability is an important but little recognized concept. If you have friends who can not get into your house safely, it means more social isolation for you later.
Most people would probably list a bathroom on the first floor as second must have to stay in their home. If they do not want to go with a stair-lift, it is unavoidable. Once you get to that bathroom, it should not be a accident trap. Part of your plan when staying in a non age friendly house is to think about how will that space allow you to take care of yourself? Can you have a walk in shell of a shower with seating and hand held faucets be put in? Is there room to add some supports on either side of the toilet? As you can guess, most accidents at home occur in the bathroom. Grabs bars are available at the local big box stores, but they still have to be installed properly.
Part of the firestorm around the “rotting in place” comments in a Washington Post article ( see Forum) is that there will be old people strewn all over the suburban landscape with ill equipped, deteriorating houses with dangerous conditions. Don’t make it so. Plan to do changes a bit at a time if you know you are staying.
This a just a jump start on just two of the main safety issues . More to come on some of the more subtle safety flaws in everyday living.