Even if your aging parent is very mobile and quick-witted right now, there will most likely come a time when some of those physical and mental abilities begin to decrease. When that happens, you must make sure your loved one can remain safe at home at all times. Age-proofing a loved one’s home should be a relatively simple process that greatly reduces the risk of a serious accident or injury.
1. Remove Obstacles
Over the course of a lifetime, the average home is going to fill up with a wide variety of possessions, and some of those items could become tripping hazards as your parent grows older. Removing unnecessary items from the floor is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent falls. This includes items such as power cords, fluffy rugs, shoes, and pet toys. You might also want to organize the furniture so your parent has clear pathways through each room.
Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Wellesley senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
2. Update the Bathrooms
Restrooms can become very dangerous in the senior years, and remodeling those areas of your parent’s home could be a great investment. At the very least, make sure your loved one can easily use the toilet as well as the bath. You can install a taller toilet with handrails along the side. If you can’t upgrade to a walk-in tub, you’ll need to install additional handrails and invest in a sturdy shower seat.
3. Consider Moving Your Parent Downstairs
Navigating stairs can be quite risky for older adults, which makes multistory homes very inconvenient. To increase safety, see if your parent wouldn’t mind moving his or her bedroom downstairs so he or she doesn’t have to use the stairs multiple times a day. Another option is to install a stairlift. That type of device can be pricey, but it’s another great investment you might want to think about.
Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional homecare seniors can trust and rely on.
4. Enhance the Lighting
Eyesight naturally decreases with age, which is why proper lighting is extremely important. Replacing all the older incandescent bulbs in the home with bright LED bulbs is an excellent start. Adding lights with motion sensors is another simple upgrade that’s perfect for a senior’s home. These devices can easily be placed in dark areas of the home, such as hallways and closets.
5. Work with an Expert
In addition to the steps above, you may also benefit from contacting a certified aging-in-place specialist. These contractors have received extensive training in how to age-proof homes, and they can be found in most major cities throughout the country. During the initial consultation and inspection, the specialist will go through your parent’s home and come up with a list of changes that should be made. From there, the specialist can either make the alterations for you or recommend a contractor.
Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Wellesley respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (781) 239-0060.