Are your parents losing some of their mobility with age and find it harder to move around? If so, then you might need to take a few steps to make the home more accommodating.
Ensuring your home is safe for aging parents can be done easily by following just eight effective methods.
For instance, you can start off by creating a larger entryway for your parents to move around.
Moreover, consider adding more lighting in every room to make it easier for your parents to find things they are looking for. You can also consider stairlifts if your parents live in a multi-storied home. But those are just the first steps. There’s so much more you can do!
8 Methods to Ensure Your Home is Safe for Aging Parents
We have covered eight methods that we think should help ensure your home is safe for aging parents.
- 1 Method # 1 Consider Stair Safety and Its Alternatives
- 2 Method # 2 Create an Accessible Entryway
- 3 Method # 3 Widen Your Doorways
- 4 Method # 4 Install Handrails and Railings Throughout the Home
- 5 Method # 5 Protect Against Slips and Falls
- 6 Method # 6 Create a Safe Bedroom Environment
- 7 Method # 7 Replace Dangerous Flooring
- 8 Method # 8 Light Up Your Living Space
Method # 1 Consider Stair Safety and Its Alternatives
Staircases and ramps are also elements that can be difficult for your folks if they feel lightheaded or have mobility issues. Check that the guardrail is not unstable and, if it is, immediately repair or replace it.
If you must use the stairs frequently, consider stairlifts that are accessible to individuals in wheelchairs. The stairlift will also be helpful to you because it will not hinder the steps. Non-slip tread mats are another approach to make stairs easier to climb.
Furthermore, you can color contrast the top or front edge with paint or adhesive strips to help your aging parents distinguish between stair steps. Finding the best stairlift for small spaces isn’t too hard if you know where to look.
Method # 2 Create an Accessible Entryway
Ensure at least one no-step entrance/exit in your home to improve accessibility. A slope in the sides or rear is less noticeable and far less pricey than one in the entrance. It is easier to allow access by switching from knobs to levers.
Method # 3 Widen Your Doorways
You may have to expand your entrances if your parent uses a wheelchair or walker. The ideal access should be a 36-inch-wide door. However, renovation can be expensive and time-consuming.
You can replace the screws on your current doors with expanding misaligned door hinges to add a couple of millimeters of leeway. Doorway sills can be dangerous for wheelers and walkers. Therefore, adopt a no threshold policy in your home.
Method # 4 Install Handrails and Railings Throughout the Home
Installing bars and railings across your property to assist elderly parents in walking about is among the most crucial steps you could take to keep the home safe. They may not contribute to the aesthetic, but they lessen the injury likelihood.
Examine your home for spots where your loved one may want assistance and build handrails.
Method # 5 Protect Against Slips and Falls
The bedroom and bathroom are the two places where everybody, particularly the elderly, trips the most. Whether or not you hire a live-in caregiver, you should consider installing anti-slip mats to safeguard your elderly loved one.
Anti-slip mats can go a long way to avoid any kind of unfortunate mishap that might take place.
Method # 6 Create a Safe Bedroom Environment
The bedroom might be the most relaxing and quiet place in the house. Although you should ensure your elderly family members can relax peacefully, you also need to guarantee safety for them to do this.
We recommend that you begin by purchasing an ergonomic bed for your parents and installing a bed guardrail. Moreover, replace any furnishing that has sharp corners and puts them at risk of stubbing their toes.
Method # 7 Replace Dangerous Flooring
A switch from flooring or tile to carpet might be a potential hazard for your elderly parents, notably if they have equilibrium concerns. As a result, you should think about making improvements to such hazardous flooring.
To maintain care and prevent slips, substitute your hard-pile carpeting with a low-pile carpeting and a laminated surface.
Rugs can add visual appeal to your area while posing a risk to your parents. Furthermore, scattered carpets can curl up and pose a tripping hazard for those using walkers, as the walkers might become stumble against the bumps.
To reduce the fall risk, tape them or fasten them with a non-slip pad. However, it is preferable to get rid of them simply. But proper carpet maintenance can also decrease the risk of accidents considerably.
Method # 8 Light Up Your Living Space
Elderly family members may experience blurred vision as their eyes deteriorate with age. Since many old people have poor vision, poor illumination is a prime reason behind unfortunate mishaps.
You can fix the issue by adding more new and better bulbs to compensate for dim lighting. Use LED battery-powered, motion-activated, and solar-powered lights to brighten exterior ramps, walkways, and steps.
Ensure your entries, especially the locks at the front and the back doors, are brightly lit. And also consider having LED buzzers. For the sake of rescue workers, you might even acquire lit house numbers and plaster the letters on your driveway.
Keep lighting in each room and the stairwell. Place lighting near beds and lanterns on bedside tables. Track lighting, recessed lighting, and lamps are simple methods to liven up a room. Use bulbs with the highest wattage specified for the fixture.
Our parents raised us and took care of us from our birth to adulthood. But our parents after a certain age become the ones that need taking care of.
In this regard, all of the methods we’ve covered earlier should come in handy to figure out how to go about it.
The methods that we’ve mentioned should help you with making your home safe for your aging parents. If you hire a contractor to do all the work it can be done quickly but can be quite expensive. You can also go DIY but you would need to have the proper tools to remodel your home.