Aging in Place? Make a Senior’s Closets Safer and Easier

Are you an aging adult yourself, or do you care for someone who is getting on in years? Then you know that the ability to continue living at home calls for managing the home environment to make things easier and more functional. One often-overlooked place to do just that is in the closet.

How can you make all your closets more useful for an older resident? Here are a few key steps to take.

Keep Things Within Reach

Closets often become filled from the bottom to the top. But this causes problems for those with mobility issues, aching joints, and difficulties with balance. Rather than try to get everything your closets by utilizing the overhead space or placing items on the floor, keep everything within an easy arm’s reach at a comfortable standing or sitting position.

Use Technology

Modern technology even extends to the closet. Start with a motion sensor that controls the main overhead lighting. It will prevent anyone from entering in the dark and ensure that the lights turn off after a person leaves, even if they don’t remember to hit the switch.

Consider opting for remote-controlled elements for storing items, too. You can customize automated systems that rotate racks of clothing, for instance, reducing the need to reach and use arthritic hands.

Less space? Why not add a rod that raises and lowers for comfortable use? Or install drawers or shelves that slide in and out with the push of a button. And what about a connected speaker system in case the user needs assistance?

Include Good Lighting

Lighting is not always something people think of with closets, but it’s important to keep everyone safe. Avoid standing lamps in either walk-in closets or smaller ones because unsecured lights can fall over or be tripping hazards.

Instead, include good overhead lights that provide plenty of light even for the corners and rear of the closet. Add light switches both inside and outside the closet for convenience. And place task lighting around areas where more delicate work will occur, such as where jewelry is kept or near mirrors where makeup is put on.

Use Built-in Units

Loose, unsecured, or stand-alone shelves and drawer systems have no place in a senior’s closet. If the person trips or starts to fall, they might grab for these closet elements to help steady themselves, and if the shelves or drawers fall over or collapse, they can cause worse injuries.

Built-in closet organizers should be installed so they are solid and stable, connected to the walls and anchored to the floor. Replace loose shelves with solid drawers that can be closed and kept out of the way. Opt for solid walls between organizer spaces, and make sure that rods are well supported with additional support hooks in the center when necessary.

Add Resting Space

Getting going in the morning can be challenging, especially if you suffer from chronic ailments like fibromyalgia or neuropathy. Include a spot in your closet to sit down and rest or get more comfortable while changing. It could be anything from a simple built-in bench to a large round ottoman in larger closets. Install hand grips around seating areas so that everyone can easily get up and down unassisted.

There’s clearly more to closet design than meets the eye. By paying extra attention to things like good lighting and solid workmanship as well as what modern technology can offer, you can create a closet that meets a senior’s needs for years to come. For more ideas on updating your closets to age in place, contact the pros at A Tech today.


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    Todd at A Tech did an awesome job setting up all the electronics in our basement. We have surround sound and all of the electronics are hidden in a closet with only 1 remote. My husband is techy so he worked with A Tech more than I did but my only request to Todd was that I needed to be able to watch tv and play a dvd without asking for help (I am not techy!) One fabulous remote runs everything and has pictures and an easy menu! They also fixed the internet issue in our house! Very Happy Customers!

    -Maureen Mitchell

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    Todd designed a whole house audio system with separate controls for every room with one receiver. He was extremely knowledgeable about speaker placement, size and quality. The end product is amazing. He also recommended a remote that controls everything. This is one of my favorite features. I have also purchased several items for my garage organization that I love. They have everything from home audio, garage organization to kitchen items in the store. Will continue to do business with them as I still need closet organization.

    -Gabe Bosma

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    This is the perfect place to go when you have no idea what to get your relatives for Christmas/birthdays. They have fun gadgets all the way up to amazing electronics. Their customized closets are also something just about anyone can use. Who doesn't want to save some space in their home? Stop by and check it out sometime.

    -Chandler Faldet

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    We have had our Beam Central Vac for over 15 years and absolutely love it! It is convenient, easy to use and best of all - keeps the 'dust' out of the home!. We have had very good service when we needed it, we replaced the motor in the unit once (very reasonable) and had replaced the power brush handle once. Pretty good for a unit that is over 15 years old! The folks at A Tech Easy Living Store are knowledgeable and very willing to assist in any way they can. Highly recommend visiting the store! They have LOTS of items that can make your life easier in your home!

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    Great products! Exceptional Service! I was out of idea for what to buy my wife. I stopped at The Easy Living Store and they had all I needed to make her happy. I would have never thought of a self opening garbage can as a great gift idea, but they said she would love it and she did! I was amazed at everything the store had to offer and how helpful the staff was there. I will go back.

    -H.A. Gross

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    ATech is a great company to work with. Todd T. works hard to ensure your project is completed on time and on budget. He has great attention to detail and has many solutions for many different areas of your home. The Company has been around for a long time and has a great reputation in our community. Thanks!

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    Todd did an awesome job getting all the components into our basement home theater system that my techy husband wanted plus making it easy for me to run with only one remote. We are very happy! The guys that came to install the systems were polite and patient with me and took time to explain how to work it all!

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    A Tech Easy Living is the "go to" place for my organization needs. They have items I didn't even know existed that solved my organization needs. And the service is impeccable. They are very attentive and help me find what I need to solve my problem.

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    I have hard wood floors and Beam has a attachment I bought it at the store and it is a God send I simply love it, it is a dry mop on the vac! Amazing! I'm buying a spare mop when I go back! I bought my vac at Van Berkum's in Pella (Where I live) never will I go back there, they sent my head out for as a loaner and gave me some one elses. How is that for doing business! We argued for a long time about this and was getting no where she kept saying that it was my head, I will never go back there to buy anything! I'm 60 minutes from Des Moines and I will take my vac to be serviced at the Easy Living Store anytime!

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    Easy living best describes the results you get from this store. From hi-tech entertainment systems, whole house vacuums, closet organizers and much more...this store has it all. And for kitchen gadgets and accessories, they are well stocked.

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    Todd and his staff were very professional and easy to work with during our recent project of updating our home entertainment system. I wouldn't think twice about referring A Tech Easy Living Store!!! Thanks

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    wish every home repair could be this easy!!! My central vacuum was having issues, burned out motor, poor connection and an outlet issue. The technician called me a bit early and said he was ahead of schedule, perfect! He was waiting when i got there, diagnosed it in about 10 minutes, I asked how long it would take to get the parts, he said he had them on the truck! I thought maybe they were generic, but when they made the appt they asked what model. He made the right diagnosis and fixed in about 20 minutes! Couldn't really ask for much more!!! The only remote downside was when I called on saturday the lady asked me to call back on monday. Great service and a great experience!

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    I live in a 50's home. I had A Tech come and redo my closets for me. They had great ideas, listened to my input and now I have great closets, even though I live in an older home!

    -Nancy Plagman

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