Living with an Aging Parent: Home Safety Tips
Before moving an aging parent into your home, some modifications will likely need to be made to ensure safety and accessibility. These basic changes will help prevent falls and other injuries while generally improving mobility.
Remove Trip Hazards
Almost 70% of falls among seniors happen at home. Reduce the risk for your loved one by getting rid of hazards and clutter.
To create clear paths through the house, remove throw rugs and keep electrical cords contained. Throw away or pack up items taking up space on the floor, and consider leveling out doorways and entryways where the floor changes elevation.
Brighten Up Dark Areas
Add lights to stairwells, entryways, hallways, and rooms as necessary to make it easy for your aging parent to see the paths through and between rooms without straining.
Motion sensors, voice-controlled smart lights or even a “clapper” device can ensure your loved one has fast access to lights when needed. Bright tape in contrasting colors applied to the edges of stairs help seniors gauge the distance between steps.
Make Stored Items More Accessible
Seniors may have difficulty retrieving items stored on high shelves. Storing items too low can also be a problem if your loved one struggles with mobility or suffers from back or knee pain.
Reorganize cabinets and closets to place frequently used items in accessible areas. Install new shelves at appropriate levels if needed, and provide your loved one with a sturdy, low step stool if he or she needs a boost.
Ensure Safe Daily Routines
Since mobility, balance, and dexterity can all decline with age, you’ll need to implement changes in various rooms of the house to make daily personal care easier for your loved one. These may include:
• Installing grab bars in the shower and by the toilet
• Placing non-slip mats in the tub and other damp or wet areas
• Switching to a toilet seat with handlebars
• Putting a bathing chair in the tub
• Installing a telescoping grab bar by the bed
• Upgrading to kitchen appliances with large controls and clear labels
Making these changes allows your loved one to navigate your home and go about his or her days without the risk of injury. Modifying your home will require some planning and investment, but it’s worth the cost to allow your loved one to enjoy relative independence and peace of mind in the later years of his or her life.
In addition to making these changes, hiring a professional in-home caregiver to assist your loved one can also prove to be beneficial during the times you’re at work or running errands. Along with providing your aging parents with the assistance they need, a professional caregiver can also take care of any light household tasks to keep the living space safe and hazard-free. Learn more today!