Staying in their house can be a priority for older homeowners. It is more comfortable for them to remain in their home, however there can also be challenges keeping it practical and safe. Having relatives to help out with things like basic care, food preparation, and home maintenance can make a big difference in their quality of life. Unfortunately, some homes just aren’t constructed with seniors in mind. Here are some common problem areas consider changing in order to make the home safer and more comfortable.
The risk of falling increases with age, as well as the severity of injuries that accompany the fall. Adding railing or bannister to at least one side of the stairs goes a long way towards fall prevention. According to Buy Railings, handrails have the added benefit of not only making the home safer, but also improving its overall value. Make sure to also keep stairs well lit and clear of any trip hazards like curled rugs. Multi-level homes come with the challenge of having amenities spread out between floors. If there are any particularly steep or long flights of stairs, ensure everything your senior family member needs is on the main floor so they do not have to frequent them.
When designing a senior-accessible bedroom, it’s important to keep in mind the logistics of the room, Assisted Living Center advises to keep the room free of clutter and to make sure the room is properly lit in order to prevent injury or potential problems. You may also need to switch the bed itself out for one that is more accessible for your elderly family member, meaning it should be easy for them to get in and out of bed on their own or with assistance. You want the bedroom to be comfortable, but safety and convenience are also a major priority. Consider the bedroom’s location in the home, and try to keep it adjacent or near a restroom, as well as make a senior-friendly fire escape plan for that room.
The kitchen is typically a very busy and cluttered area of the home. To add to the confusion, your family member may be dealing with memory issues that make working in the kitchen a danger for them. If a gas stove is present, you can install a gas alarm that will go off if the gas isn’t turned off after cooking. You can also move important items to lower cabinets that are easier to reach.
The elderly typically have some trouble when it comes to navigating a bathroom. This has a lot to do with both the small size of the average bathroom as well as how the room is used. Maneuvering up and down for the toilet can be difficult. It can also be dangerous for them to get in and out of the bathtub. There are handles that can be installed near the toilet and inside the tub to help your family member get to where they need to be. Safe Step Walk-in Tub recommends placing non-slip bath mats as an added safety measure. If additional assistance is required, there are home health services that can help a person with their bathing needs a few times per week or more often if needed.
Home renovations for your elderly family members don’t have to be expensive or involved. A few small changes can make a home much more accessible. When it comes down to your family member being able to stay in their home instead of moving into a nursing home, these renovations are great options.
If you need help remodeling your home, contact us for an estimate!