Elderly people are prone to indoor accidents. So, here are 5 smart ways to make your home elderly-friendly.
Even though nobody likes to think about it, getting old is an unavoidable part of life. And the main problem here is knowing that getting old comes with many health issues. Out of these, one of the most common is limited mobility. Therefore, regardless of whether you choose to move your elderly parents in with you or you are a senior yourself, it’s good to prepare your home for these changes. So, here are five smart ways to make your home elderly-friendly.
No. 1 Make your home elderly-friendly by paying attention to the furniture
Firstly, to create an elderly-friendly home, you have to make sure that the furniture is comfortable. This means that you should avoid low and very tall furniture pieces. The problem with these furnishings is that they make it harder for the elderly to sit down or get up. Therefore, you should choose sofas, beds, and chairs of standard height.
When it comes to the bed, you can check to ensure that a person's feet can reach the floor when seated. And if the bed needs just a bit more height, you can use a thicker mattress. It's also good to choose a bed with a padded headboard because it's more comfortable for resting one's head.
Secondly, to make your home elderly-friendly, you have to rearrange the furniture to facilitate movement. This means making clear paths throughout your home and eliminating any pieces of furniture that are not essential. Because senior citizens shouldn't haul heavy furniture pieces, it's best to hire a professional moving company such as Roadway Moving. You can even rent some storage for the non-essential furniture apart from hiring professionals to move the heavy furnishings.
To make your home elderly-friendly, you should rearrange the furniture to facilitate movement.
No. 2 Ensure your home becomes elderly-friendly by paying attention to the floors
Slipping and tripping are very dangerous for elderly citizens. This is because bones get weaker as we age, which means they are more likely to break due to a fall. Thus, you should make sure that your floors are slip-resistant. Here's how you can do that:
- You must install anti-slip floor tiles in the bathroom because wet surfaces represent a hazard for the elderly. And you can consider this for the kitchen as well.
- In what concerns the rest of the house, you can add anti-slip mats under the rugs. These are great for fixing your carpets in place to prevent slips.
- Since tripping is just as dangerous as slipping, consider removing thresholds or lowering them.
No. 3 Make your home elderly-friendly by paying attention to the lights
One of the best ways to avoid accidents is to make sure that your home is well-lit. Any dark area will increase the risk of slipping, tripping, and bumping into things. Plus, keep in mind that good lighting can also improve the aspects of your home. So, this is a win-win solution. Therefore, you should add extra lights wherever possible.
Another good tip is to let as much natural light in as possible. Since the elderly spend more time indoors, natural light is vital. And it can do wonders for one's mood. Therefore, you can set up the bedroom in a room with a large window. This will provide not only good lighting but also a nice view outside.
To create an elderly-friendly home, you should set up the bedroom in a room with a large window that lets natural light in.
No. 4 Create an elderly-friendly home by properly equipping the bathroom
As previously mentioned, bathroom floors represent a hazard for the elderly. But this is not the only thing you have to consider. Having limited mobility makes it hard to use other bathroom elements as well. Therefore, you can install grab bars next to the toilet to make it easier for the elderly to sit down and get up. Grab bars should also be placed in the shower or next to the tub to prevent slips. It would help if you also considered that walk-in showers are more accessible than tubs. This is because they don't require lifting one's legs.
No. 5 Make your property elderly-friendly by making stairs safe
If your home has upper floors, be advised that stairs can be dangerous for the elderly. To make stairs safe, you first have to ensure they are well-lit from top to bottom. Apart from this, you must install handrails. If the space allows it, you should install them on both sides of the stairs for more support. If your home has two or more floors, you should also create resting areas between the floors. This will give the elderly a place to sit and catch their breath before going up another flight of stairs.
To make them safe, install handrails on both sides of the stairs, where possible.
Make them feel at home
Moving senior citizens is not an easy task. If you want to help your elderly parents, you can move them in by yourself, hire professional help, or help make their home elderly-friendly. Or all of the above. Of course, nobody enjoys moving from the place they've called home for many years. But you should be patient with them and involve them in every step of the process. Here is how you can do that:
- Give the elderly time to process and plan. Since moving represents a significant change, the elderly must have time to get used to the idea. Plus, this will enable them to ask all the questions they might have and get clarifications. This, in turn, will make the entire process less stressful for them.
- Help the elderly declutter before the move. This is essential because, in time, people tend to collect a lot of useless stuff. However, since many of these things have sentimental value, the elderly might be less willing to give them up. So, you should help them sort through everything and accept small heirlooms.
- Let them add a personal touch to their new home. Having personal items around them will help the elderly feel at home. Such items can include family photos, artwork, and small pieces of furniture.
Old age comes with many problems, particularly health-related ones. Moreover, older adults are more prone to indoor accidents caused by slipping, tripping, and bumping into things. Therefore, if you're an older adult or wish to help your elderly parents, you should prepare your home for this. So, use these five smart ways to make your home elderly-friendly and avoid unwanted accidents.