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A Home for Everybody: House Preparations for the Elderly

One’s golden years are best spent with family, or so most would prefer. You’re welcome to live a life of your own in private if you want to, however. No matter what you choose, you’ll need to do a bit of home preparation for a more comfortable living situation.

Becoming a senior comes with its fair share of pains and discomforts, which tend to be unavoidable due to age. You’ll have a frailer body, so you’ll need home facilities that should accommodate that. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to live independently, however.

Here’s what you should keep in mind when considering home modifications that will make a senior’s, may it be yours or your relative’s, life more manageable.

Ease of Use

You might need to do a few renovations to make your home facilities more comfortable to use. Reevaluate your facilities and look at them from a new perspective – will everyone, including the elderly, be able to use this item with ease? You’ll be surprised to find out that no is the answer often.

The bathroom should be able to be used without too much strain or assistance, although supervision is still required. Opt to use lever faucets and removable showerheads. Installing bidet seats are something to keep in mind if you want to have a mess- and stress-free toilet use.

If your senior enjoys cooking, consider doing some kitchen upgrades. Start with your storage access. Round knobs are a big no-no for drawer handles, as they can be hard to grasp for people with arthritis. Use rotatable access cabinets to avoid situations where reaching over to get items is needed.

Safety

senior reading a book

Home safety is one of the most important things to keep in mind while evaluating your home. There are a lot of things you should consider to make your house hazard-free for the elderly. In some ways, accommodating a senior resident is surprisingly similar to childproofing your home.

Good lighting is a must for all homes. You don’t need high wattage lights that can beat the sun, however. Focus on increasing visibility on areas that are most likely to cause tripping accidents. Motion sensitive floor lights are something to consider for better navigation during the night.

If you have a pet, you might want to restrict their play area while your senior is moving around. Pets are mobile tripping hazards, even if they don’t mean to. Rugs and raised flooring are also something to look out for. Use bright visual indicators to ensure that they are easily noticed.

Mobility

If your elders prefer moving around independently, make a couple of changes at home that can assist them. Grab bars in the rooms are a simple yet effective idea to think about. Make sure that they are sturdy and easily graspable. Always keep them clean, especially if you notice that they’re slippery.

Not all senior residents will move around in a wheelchair, but it doesn’t hurt to prepare the home for that possibility. Start by adding a ramp to your entrance – even seniors who move around on their feet will appreciate it. You should also widen your doorways to increase their accessibility.

Lever door handles are also a good idea, as doorknobs are more difficult and sometimes more painful to use. Stairs can be hard to navigate for the elderly, particularly those with severe joint pains. Consider installing a stairlift for easier navigation, although its cost is nothing to sneeze at.

Independence is something one values as they retire. You don’t want to be treated like delicate glass, after all. These house upgrades will not only help you stay independent but also increase your everyday quality of living.

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