If you have a loved one who’s getting older, it might be time to think about how their care needs to change as their age increases. One of the changes you should consider is how their living situation might need to be adjusted in order for them to be safe in the environment where they live.
To help you in making these all-important changes, here are three tips for making a home safe for the elderly.
Make The Home Fall-Proof
Falls are one of the biggest dangers for the elderly. With limited mobility, declining balance, and unclear vision, it’s very easy for seniors to slip, trip, or fall on things that might not be an issue for younger people.
To make sure your loved one is safe from falls in their living space, Dana Larsen, a contributor to APlaceForMom.com, recommends doing things like making sure walking paths are clear, rugs are rolled up, floors are never left wet, handrails are installed at dangerous locations, and more. By doing these things, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that the home is as fall-proof as possible.
Widen Your Doors
As your loved one’s mobility requires them to use things like a walker, cane, or wheelchair, you might soon find that the doors of their home aren’t as wide enough for them to comfortably maneuver their way from room to room.
To combat this, Sharon Jayson, a contributor to AARP, advises that you do what you can to widen the doors of your home if they’re too small. This will be especially important if the home is older, as those doorways might be even smaller than in more modern homes.
While the cost for doing this can be a few thousand dollars, this is something that could be well worth it if your loved one is intent on aging in place and the home they’re living in just can’t currently accommodate these mobility needs.
Think About Lighting Needs
To make moving around the house safe as well as allowing your loved one the freedom to get things on their own, the lighting in the home needs to be adequate for their aging eyes.
According to Kristen Hicks, a contributor to SeniorAdvisor.com, new or additional lighting should be added to places like stairs and kitchen cabinets. Additionally, if light switches are hard to get to, you might want to either install some sort of clapper system for turning lights on and off or use software that allows your loved one to control the lights from their smartphone or tablet.
If your elderly loved in is living in a home where their physical needs aren’t currently being met, consider using the tips mentioned above to make alterations so that their home will be safe for them as they continue to age.