Kent McCool, Home Safe Homes: “Bathrooms seemed to be addressed a lot. That’s where the falls happen. We want to prevent those falls, so simple things like grab bars. You know, the entrances and exits to your home, um proper lighting. Slip rugs — getting rid of those tripping/fall hazards. Just making sure the stairs are clear for walking. Handrails, if you can’t afford stairlifts. Depending on the person’s capabilities or mobility issues — there may be ramps that can be required. There may be stair lifts that can be required. Things that help them get around the home safer.
"A ramp like this is typically in the $2000-$3000 range. We put in a 36-inch door because the client is going to be in a wheelchair when he comes home. All exterior doors need to be at 36 inches. All the interior doorways are at 32 inches.
"Some long term care insurance policies have home modification provisions. But private insurance usually does not cover it, or Medicare doesn’t cover it. So, not a lot, some insurance coverage, but not a lot. In the long run, if they anticipate being in the home for, you know, five [to] 10-plus years, the cost of modifying the home is really inexpensive compared to the cost of moving into an assisted living facility or senior living facility."
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