We often worry about our aging parents. More and more seniors nowadays decide to stay in their own homes rather than enter a nursing care facility or senior apartment complex. This can get risky if some simple home modifications aren't done first.
Falls are a common occurrence for aging seniors that can result in some serious injuries. Read on to learn about 7 important home modifications for seniors that can help keep your elderly parents or yourself safer at home!
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." –Charles R. Swindoll
Install Safety Railings & Heavy-Duty Grab Bars Throughout the House
It is a good idea to install safety railings and heavy-duty grab bars in the bathroom, on the steps and elsewhere throughout the house where needed. Seniors who suffer from arthritis or other ailment may be shaky and stiff making it difficult to get dressed and do other everyday activities.
Having secure grab bars by the toilet, beside a sink and in the bathtub or shower can give seniors a safe place to hold onto if feeling weak, dizzy or unbalanced.
Widen Doorways to at Least 36 Inches or Wider
Some seniors develop problems with mobility and may use a wheelchair, walker or other assistive ambulation device. Some older homes have very narrow doorways that make it difficult for two people, a caregiver and a senior, or those using a walker, cane or wheelchair.
Widen the existing doorways to at least 36 inches across or wider. Most handicapped areas must be 48 inches to ensure safety while moving through narrow spaces. Simply call a local company that provides affordable home improvement services including reliable home modifications for elderly individuals.
Install Pull-Out/Pull-Down Shelving in Bath and Kitchen
Kitchens can be a dangerous place for elderly individuals that have issues with mobility, are unsteady on their feet or have problems with vision or balance. If a senior must use a wheelchair or walker, reaching for everyday supplies can be especially risky.
An easy solution is to install lower pull-out or pull-down shelving and drawers that do not require bending over or stretching to reach something that's too high. Other great house modifications for elderly parents is to add a corner lazy-Susan turntable and switching hard-to-twist cabinet handles to D handles that are much easier for people with arthritis to open.
Raise Toilet Seat & Install Walk-In Bathtub/Shower with Seat
The bathroom is often a smaller space and moving around can be difficult especially if the person uses a mobility aid like a walker or cane. That’s why seniors are at high risk of falling while leaving the tub, shower, or simply losing balance after using the toilet.
Getting in and out of a regular bathtub and/or shower can be challenging for many elders. One easy fix is to install a walk-in bathtub or bathtub/shower combination. A seat should also be present to make washing up an easier process.
Adding a raised toilet seat with a lid makes it easier as the user does not have to go far to sit down or stand up. Grab bars should also be installed at the same time.
Install Safe Non-Slip Flooring or Low-Pile Carpeting
When determining a plan of action for retrofitting home for elderly parents, consider the condition of the flooring or carpeting. Shag pile rugs can catch on wheelchair or walker wheels and switching to a low-pile carpeting lowers the chances of falling.
Hardwood, tile or other smooth flooring surface does make it easier to roll a wheelchair around but ensure that the surface isn't too slick. Consider adding a flooring finish that provides some texture to lower fall risk. Remove slippery throw rugs or tape them securely down.
Revamp Kitchen to Ensure Essentials Are Within Easy Reach
Kitchens are a good place to make some senior home upgrades. Many seniors still love to cook. It is a good idea to ensure that everyday kitchen supplies and essentials are all within easy reach. Move frequently used kitchen utensils and other items lower.
Make use of clever storage spaces like turntable shelves for pantry food staples like spices, canned food and baking supplies. If a senior uses a wheelchair or must be seated to do most kitchen chores, consider lowering the height of countertops as well.
Consider Medical Alert System and/or Smart Home Safety Features
Adding smart home safety features like automatic stove/range shutoff options and voice-activated technological devices that can set home alarms, lock doors, turn off and on lights and operate television features are terrific choices. Be sure to include a medical alert system in case emergency help is needed in a hurry.
Contact our knowledgeable team to handle any home modifications for seniors or for further information!