As our loved ones age, their mobility and physical capabilities eventually decline making it more challenging for them to navigate their homes independently. To help ensure their safety and comfort, it’s crucial to adapt our living spaces to accommodate their changing needs. There are numerous ways to get rid of hazards and make your home more friendly to the elderly.
Install a Stairlift
One of the most significant challenges for older individuals is climbing stairs. To install a stairlift is a game-changer, allowing them to move safely and independently between floors. A stairlift is a chair lift that can be lifted or lowered at the top or bottom of a household staircase. It is a less expensive and secure method for senior citizens with limited mobility to move between floors of their houses. Consult with a reputable stairlift provider who can assess your home to recommend the right model and handle the installation service at your convenience.
Eliminate Trip Hazards
Creating a safer environment for the elderly requires removing potential trip hazards such as loose rugs, cords, and clutter from walkways. Installing non-slip flooring or adding non-slip mats in areas that tend to get wet, such as the bathroom is an effective way to prevent slipping and falling while they take a bath. Ensure that all rooms have adequate lighting to help prevent accidents and make it easier for older individuals to see potential hazards.
Install Grab Bars and Handrails
Grab bars and handrails can provide much-needed support, reduce fatigue, and maintain balance for elderly individuals as they move around the house. These should be placed in areas where falls are more likely to occur, such as the bathroom (by the toilet and shower) and along staircases. Ensure that the bars and handrails are sturdy and securely attached to the wall to provide reliable support.
Modify the Bathroom
The bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house for seniors due to the increased risk of slipping and falling. You can make the bathroom more accessible for them by considering installing a walk-in shower with a built-in seat, handheld showerhead, and grab bars. A raised toilet seat with safety rails can make it easier for elderly individuals to use the bathroom independently.
Adjust the Height of Counters and Cabinets
Elderly individuals may struggle to reach high cabinets or countertops. You can make the kitchen more accessible by lowering the height of the counters or installing pull-out shelves in the cabinets. This will allow seniors to access items more easily without straining themselves or relying on others for assistance.
Create a Ground Floor Living Space
Climbing up and down the stairs poses great risks and challenges for the elderly. Aging should be factored in when it comes to designing your home. You can minimize the need for seniors to use stairs regularly by providing a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor. This will significantly improve their independence and reduce the risk of falls.
Making your home more accessible for the elderly can have a profound impact on their quality of life, especially if the caregiver is in another room. By taking these steps, such as installing a stairlift and making modifications to high-risk areas, you’ll be providing a more comfortable and secure living environment for your aging loved ones. It is also important to visit the doctor for a balance test and an eye exam. Remember, it’s essential to consult with a professional when making these changes to ensure that they are done correctly and meet safety standards.