There may come a time in your parents' lives where they require a little help to sustain a decent life. Old age brings with it a host of difficulties including limited mobility, complications with vision, weakened strength, and clumsiness. It can make ordinary things like getting dressed, taking a bath, and even preparing a meal more difficult. Whether you've offered to help them out around their own house or move them into yours, you'll need to make some adjustments to ensure they're safe and comfortable.
Install/Repair Railings – Falling is one of the leading causes of injuries for seniors. To reduce the likelihood of them getting hurt, you will need to repair any damaged railings in and around the house. If you don't have railings near your stairways, they are worth installing to provide additional support for seniors as they're trying to get up and down the stairs.
Repair Damaged Walkways and Stairs – From your entryway to your backyard you'll need to make repairs to walkways and steps. Cracks, broken concrete, and chipped asphalt can quickly become tripping hazards.
Lifts and Bars – Speaking of stairs, if your elderly family member struggles with mobility issues there is a solution. Installing a stairlift, for example, would make climbing the stairs to access their bedroom or the bathroom a lot easier. Grab bars are also ideal to prevent slip and fall accidents and should be installed on bathroom and shower walls.
Ramps – For seniors who are wheelchair bound accessibility is very important. One upgrade you may need to make to your home is a ramp. Installing a ramp can be costly, but will also make getting the wheelchair in and out of the house a lot easier.
Wider Doors – Some homes may need to undergo serious renovations to make them comfortable for a senior. For example, if they are in a wheelchair the doors and hallways may need to be widened to accommodate the chair. If they're unable to get in, out, and around the house, they'll have to be carried from place to place which can prove difficult.
More Lighting – Vision is another big problem for seniors. This can also be a safety hazard at night when they're trying to get around. You can increase comfortability and safety by installing more lights. Both exterior and interior lights placed strategically in places your loved ones often travel to can make a big difference.
Bed Rails – Great for helping those with mobility issues or body aches to get in and out of the bed and also ideal for preventing your loved one from falling out of the bed at night, bed railings are a smart investment. They can easily be installed between the mattress and box spring for increased support.
Put Things in Arms Reach – Climbing a ladder to try and grab things you need is a safety hazard for seniors and can be impossible for those with mobility issues. To make things easier, just move things most commonly used by your elderly parents to where they can reach them.
Get Rubber Mats – Placing mats in places where there's a lot of water accumulation can prevent mom or dad from slipping and falling. Be that as it may, you need to make sure that you have the right mats. Invest in mats that match the decor but also have adequate rubber on the bottom to prevent them from slipping.
Keep Pathways Clear – Too much clutter is grounds for an accident. Try to keep common pathways clear. Make sure that there aren't any objects in the way of the bathroom or the bedroom as these are the most frequently used rooms in the home.
Emergency Alert Systems – Whether they live with you or you check in on them, you can't always be there for your parents. During those times you want to make sure that they have the means to get in contact with emergency assistance. You can opt for a medical alert necklace or bracelet or a home security system with panic buttons and other safety features.
Your aging family members need your help now more than ever before. Caring for them means making sure that you've addressed their needs and provided a safe and comfortable living environment for them. Whether you prefer for mom and dad to move in with you or you plan on taking shifts to care for them in their own homes, do yourselves a favor and make the above-mentioned changes to provide everyone with peace of mind.