As your parents get older, you may start to be concerned about them living alone. With decreased mobility and cognitive function, particular challenges can appear that affect their safety.
If you have noticed some changes, it may be time to consider making some alterations to their home. This ensures that they can live as comfortably as possible while reducing the risk of potential accidents.
In this article we are going to talk about how you can make a home safer for aging parents.
Sound interesting? Then let’s get started.
Remove rugs and floor clutter.
Since slips and falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in the elderly, the first change you should make to your home is to remove any floor clutter. Walkways should be as clear as possible and free from things such as plants, books, and blankets.
It’s also essential to remove any rugs, as these are one of the most significant risks. If you must have them, make sure that they are placed underneath furniture or secured down with Velcro.
Create a more open living plan.
Due to a lack of mobility, it’s better that your parents have a more open living plan to live in. The less furniture you have, the easier it will be for them to move around.
Try and downsize to the necessities and work out a way to use your space to its full potential. Who knows, you may even be able to create an incredible plan by moving around just a few pieces of furniture.
Utilize a medical alert system.
Without a doubt, one of the best investments you can make for your parents’ home is a medical alert system. This will make sure that the appropriate emergency personnel is notified if an accident does occur.
Take a look at these best medical alert systems to get started. There are a lot of different options, so you want to find the one that is most suitable for your parents’ situation. This could be a wearable or system that is installed in the home.
Limit furniture and secure it in place.
We already talked about making sure that you have an open plan, but the furniture that you do keep should also be secured properly. This prevents anything from falling over as well as being pulled down in an accident.
It’s pretty easy to secure furniture yourself with the right equipment, but if you don’t feel confident, you can hire a handyman to do the job for you. Just make sure that you are extra careful, especially with any shelving.
Install grab rails around the home.
One of the most popular home modifications for the elderly is grab rails. These are installed to provide a place to hold on to when getting on and off the toilet or out of bed.
When you’re installing the rails, look at the ADA guidelines for more information. Certain styles work best for specific areas, and they will need to be placed at the appropriate height with enough room to ensure a comfortable grip.
Make use of motion sensor lighting.
Even with a well-designed house, accidents can still happen, especially in the dark. Installing motion sensor lighting is a great choice, as it can light up the way until your loved one can make it to a light switch.
There are a variety of great night lights out there, and you can even get ones that can stick to just about everything. However, it can be worth paying attention to brightness so that you know they are lighting up the area efficiently.
Add a shower bench and non-slip mats.
As you probably already know, since bathrooms get so wet, they are one of the most dangerous areas in the household. This is why it’s vital to use the correct aids to assist your parents.
While there are many things that you can get to make it safer, two of the best are shower benches and non-slip mats. These allow them to sit down to wash themselves and can help prevent slips on the tiles.
Invest in adjustable furniture.
Another disadvantage of getting older is that it becomes challenging to get in and out of beds and chairs. So one smart choice is to invest in some adjustable furniture for your home.
These come with remote systems that will allow your parents to raise and lower themselves as needed. You can even find options with split settings for those that sleep in the same bed. Combine these with grab rails that we mentioned above, and you’re significantly reducing fall risks.
Relocate essentials to accessible locations.
Most of us are used to keeping our medicine on the top shelf and cleaning supplies in a locked cupboard. However, as you age, these locations can become tricky to access. Talk with your parents about what they are having trouble reaching, and see what you can relocate.
You may even need to consider moving an entire room downstairs if they live in a two-story home. It’s much easier to have all the essentials on one floor than to have them walking upstairs multiple times a day.
Keep the garden maintained.
Finally, it’s important to remember that you must take care of not only the interior, but the exterior of the home as well. Try your best to keep the garden maintained to a level that is safe and free from clutter.
While they may wish to do some of the gardening themselves, either you or a professional should handle any large tasks, such as removing branches or lifting anything heavy. Check out these garden clean-up tips here for help getting started.
And that’s it! These were some different tips to make a home safer for your aging parents. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but once you take care of the above, you can rest easy knowing that your loved ones are secure.