The majority of people 65 and over plan to age in their own homes. They are opting out of living in senior communities, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities. A report from a publication by the American Association of Retired People (AARP) states that 80 percent of elderly seniors are prepared to remain in their homes for the rest of their lives. Aging in place or aging in your own home, defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), is to live in your home safely without assistance from a caregiver or family member. But, it is no secret that as we age, changes in our aging bodies require us to do a little extra maintenance. Likewise, if your aging home has its original wood-burning fireplace, a few safety modifications are in order.
Fireplace safety for aging in place elderly seniors is very important. An elderly person and a wood-burning fireplace sound fine, but there are so many things that could go wrong. As we age, we tend to be a little forgetful, which can be very dangerous with a wood-burning fireplace. One of the most important things to remember is to keep your fireplace clean with regular chimney sweeps and regular chimney inspections. Another important thing to remember is to open the chimney flue when burning fire and be sure to close it after you’re done. A few modifications to your existing fireplace will help keep you safe.
Simple Wood Burning Fireplace Maintenance
Although some modifications are costly, your safety and well-being while aging in place are priceless. Here are a few additional things you can do to ensure continued wood burning fireplace safety:
- Make sure you have and maintain operating smoke and carbon monoxide detectors near the fireplace.
- Make sure your fireplace is safe and efficient by adding a glass fireplace door. “Fireplace Doors Buying Guide” is a great resource to help you for choosing the right fireplace door. on brick-anew.com. This website has a wealth of information on fireplaces and fireplace accessories.
- Make sure you clean the fireplace interior often. This cleaning is not like the chimney sweep cleaning, which should be done by a professional, but the cleaning of burnt ash, dirt, and chimney soot. Proper chimney accessories should always be nearby. Chimney tools with extra long handles eliminate bending and stretching, a benefit every elderly senior can use. Brick-anew.com is also a great place to find excellent fireplace tools.
These simple modifications to your home’s wood-burning fireplace are easy and cost-effective. Proper maintenance is not only necessary for efficiency, but it also protects you and your home from hazardous situations. Aging in place for elderly seniors is already a challenge. However, making small changes to your home will make the transition much easier.