Making A Home Safe For Seniors: A Guide
There comes a time when your parents will need an extra helping hand around the home, so be sure to assist them in staying independent for as long as possible. Visit their home and suggest making some changes here and there to keep them safe from potential dangers, such as getting burnt, falling over, and accidentally cutting themselves on electric knives, for example. Offer to conduct their weekly shop for them, and fill their fridge and freezer with foods that support their nutritious and caloric needs. Conveniently, canned goods have a lengthy shelf life, so stock up on the likes of baked beans, canned sweetcorn, and soups.
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The bathroom is the place that’ll likely require the most adjustment, as getting in and out of the bathtub can be problematic for the elderly. With this in mind, click here to find out more about installing a walk-in bath, walk-in shower, or wet room from Premier Bathrooms. Falling in the bathroom can have serious consequences as the floor is hard and liable to be wet, and bathmats can pose slipping hazards. Replace all rugs and loose mats with anti-slip ones, and have them added to the bath, the shower, and the floor areas all around the home.
Let There Be Light
Ensure that their home is properly lit with plenty of overhead lighting and lamps. That being said, don’t forget to remove extension cables and tidy the wires away so that your parents aren’t likely to trip up over them. A very simple solution is to stick LED lights around the home and secure them to the sides of the stairs so that each step can be seen in the dark. Replace dimming bulbs with new brighter ones, and don’t forget about outside too. Use solar powered yard lights and automated night lights to illuminate the edge of the path and any other possible tripping hazards.
Organize The Kitchen
The kitchen can pose a risk to seniors, especially if they’re having difficulty remembering where things are kept and to turn appliances off. Remove all surplus kitchen items that you know your parents won’t have the need for any longer, such as weighing scales, the full set of knives, bread makers and baskets, and spice containers, for example. Try and make the process of preparing meals easy for them and consider gifting them with a useful cookbook that details how to make quick, straightforward, and nutritious meals.
Style isn’t the priority when making a home safe for the elderly – security and practicality have to be number one. Consider having grab bars installed in convenient places around the home, such as against the bath, the shower, the sink, and the toilet. Add them to the kitchen, the living room, and the dining room as well. These should be installed in places that a fall might seem most likely.
Stairlift And Handrail
If there’s not yet a need for a stairlift, then have a handrail fixed to the wall next to the stairs. Handrails provide stability on the ascent and the descent from the staircase, and adding them is easy and cheap. Climbing the stairs can be tiring for elderly individuals, and installing them can make the world of difference to those who aren’t as steady on their feet as they once were.
Images from Home W4 Refurbishment by AroStudio