Aging well from a safe, secure home

Carol and her late husband lived on five acres when he was diagnosed with cancer. Knowing they needed to downsize, they looked at retirement villages but decided it wasn’t for them.

Carol settled on her current home – a spacious 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom home in Beaudesert. It had plenty of room for her many craft projects and materials and they enjoyed the wide, open space.

“I’ll never move out of this place,” laughs Carol as works on her recent led lighting project. “They’ll have to take me out of here in a box”!

Carol, now 78, admits that it hasn’t always been easy managing the upkeep that goes along with living in a house. And although she’s in reasonably good health, Carol is finding everyday tasks more difficult to manage.

“One of my neighbours told me about the subsidised home maintenance and modification services available through Centacare,” said Carol. “I gave them a call and they sent lovely tradespeople around to help me. They are fully licensed and very professional.

“They cleaned my gutters, installed hand rails in my bathroom to help me out of the bath and built a beautiful timber step in my patio area to help me get up into the house”.

Carol was able to access $1,000* funding through the Queensland Government’s Home Assist Secure program. Home Assist Secure provides access to home maintenance and modification services to help older Queenslanders live well in their own homes. Services include free information and referrals to trusted tradespeople, in-home safety assessments, minor modifications such as ramps, smoke alarms, repairs and maintenance.

When Carol’s health deteriorated, Centacare supported Carol to apply for the Commonwealth Home Support Program, which enabled her to access additional home safety and maintenance services.

“Centacare conducted a full assessment of the house and identified what I’d need to keep me safe and secure in the house, both now and in the future. I feel very grateful that I can continue to live safely from this house. It’s very important to me.”

Would you like a free in-home safety assessment?

If you’re over the age of 60, you may be eligible for a free in-home safety assessment as well as subsidised services through Home Assist Secure. Centacare also provides home maintenance and modification services through the Commonwealth Home Support Program and as part of people’s Home Care Packages. Phone 1300 236 822 to find out more.

* Carol accessed $1,000 over a two-year period. Home Assist Secure eligible households may receive financial assistance toward home maintenance and minor modifications up to $500 per financial year.

Top tips for keeping safe

Creating a safe environment in and around your home will help you manage your lifestyle as you get older.

  1. Stairs and steps are common problems. Make sure the area is well lit by using 75 watt light bulbs. Make sure stairs have adequate hand rails.
  2. The bathroom can present a slipping hazard. Use non-slip flooring and non-slip mats in the shower and bath. If you need additional support, install grab rails beside the toilet and in the bath and shower.
  3. The need to reach for and carry items can present hazards in the kitchen. Make your work areas more convenient for reaching. Make sure the kitchen is well lit.
  4. Many falls result from trying to do jobs that are too hard to reach. Avoid using ladders, and if you need to, make sure your ladder is safe and someone is with you.
  5. Clear clutter from outside your home. Remove leaf litter and store your garden equipment safely. In public places, look out for trip and slip hazards.