9 Things That Can Make Your House More Elderly-Friendly
Over time, our elders will lose their strength and ability. Soon enough, some features of the house may no longer be safe for them. Not all families will have the privilege of sending their parents or grandparents to a senior living resort. On the other hand, other families may not be willing to let their elders live in a facility for seniors.
Fortunately, you have the option of letting them stay at home safely, but with the following modifications:
1. Walk-in tubs
High-quality walk-in tubs for the elderly are great alternatives to regular showers and tubs, which pose a great fall risk. Models typically feature a seat that seniors can sit on while taking a bath.
2. Improved lighting
Most senior citizens will have difficulty seeing in the dark as their vision starts to fail. Make sure your house is well-lit in all places to prevent your elderly from misstepping and falling, especially in hallways, stairs, garages, and their bedrooms and bathrooms.
3. Remove all tripping hazards
Having a child and an elder in one roof can be quite a challenge. Toys, for one, can be a dangerous tripping hazard for seniors who can’t see very well. To avoid this risk, disallow your child from taking outside his or her bedroom or playroom. Similarly, you should remove other tripping hazards such as extension cords, loose rugs, clutter, etc.
4. Install handrails
Since our elderly have trouble standing up and sitting down, it would help reduce their difficulty to install handrails in the bathrooms (near the toilet and bathtub), along stairs (both inside and outside the home), in hallways, and other places that they frequent.
5. Move their bedroom to the first floor
To reduce the risk of falling down the stairs, have their bedroom located to the first floor instead.
6. Add an alert button near their bed or in the bathroom
Elders may have difficulty calling for help if they have fallen or have trouble getting up. A great solution is to install alert buttons at different points in the house, which can be programmed to alert you through your phone or sound an alarm in the home.
7. Switch knobs for levers
The motion of turning the handle of a faucet or doorknob can be extremely painful for the elderly. The fix is quite easy: simply switch out regular knobs for levers that are much easier to turn.
8. Apply non-slip wax to floors
Slipping is also a great hazard for the fragile bodies of older adults, but you can avoid the risk by applying a layer of non-slip wax on your wooden floors or linoleum.
9. Consider things that they might enjoy
Elderly people often don’t have a lot to do around the house, so it would be great to give them something that they can enjoy, such as a patio area or a crafts table.
Just as you would baby-proof a house, you can also senior-proof it to accommodate your aging parents or grandparents. With these modifications, you can keep your elders safe and happy for as long as possible.