All over the world, many people live with their senior parents or grandparents. It’s also no secret that, as we age, simple things such as climbing the stairs or getting in a bathtub become increasingly challenging.
With time, comfort, safety, and accessibility became our primary concerns. Luckily, you don’t need to compromise on style and aesthetics when trying to address them. There are plenty of ways to incorporate elderly-friendly design into your home.
For instance, you can start with some of the simplest things, like placing additional carpets and rugs on otherwise slippery floors or adding more lighting to set up well-lit areas.
If your stairs don’t have a railing, it also may be time to install one. On top of that, a walk-in shower and strategically placed grab bars will help make your bathroom safer and more accessible.
Here are the ideas to help make your home safer for an older resident:
Slippery floors and surfaces can be a safety hazard for people of all ages, but falls and injuries can be especially dangerous to seniors. Therefore, it’s best to minimise the possibility of someone slipping and falling in your house. Luckily, there’s no need to rip up all the hardwood floors or tiles you have.
One of the easiest ways to prevent falls due to slips and trips is to add more carpets and rugs. If you have really smooth and slippery floors, it’s worth investing in a double-sided non-slip tape that will allow you to tape area rugs down and stop them from rolling up. You can also try using outdoor rugs inside – they will be easier to wash and keep clean.
Lighting is very important in the home of an elderly person. Seniors often suffer from impaired vision, which makes it difficult for them to see where they are going, especially at night.
To avoid having them walk all the way to a light switch, you can install some plug-in motion sensor lights that will turn on when someone passes them after dark.
Another option is to add light to dark areas, such as staircases or attic rooms, by installing skylight windows for flat roofs. This energy-efficient option will allow you to save money on electricity bills and provide a way to ventilate the rooms better.
Grab bars may not be the most appealing addition to your house, but they are definitely some of the most important if you live with elderly people.
Seniors often have arthritis and other conditions that make it difficult to get up and down. Grab bars help with balance and stability, allowing them to grab onto something while using the toilet, taking a shower, or getting out of the bathtub.
If you don’t want to compromise on aesthetics but need to install grab bars, you can opt for materials that will look great in every interior. For instance, stainless steel is incredibly durable and hygienic since it’s non-porous.
Alternatively, you can match the colour of the grab bars to the rest of the hardware in your bathroom. Gold, black, or even copper are great choices that will not only look great while still serving their purpose.
Ramps are another great option when it comes to making your home safer and more accessible. If you have a senior parent that has difficulty walking up the stairs leading to the home or uses a wheelchair, installing a ramp will be incredibly helpful. It will also make moving furniture, appliances, and other heavy objects a lot easier.
Ramps can be made of any material, including wood and aluminium. Although wood is more expensive, it may look more aesthetically pleasing and can boast higher durability. On the other hand, aluminium ramps are much cheaper, easier to maintain, lightweight, and easy to install.
A walk-in shower can be your best friend when you live with seniors. There are so many reasons why this type of shower is beneficial to the elderly.
First, it allows them to easily step into it and sit down if they’re having trouble standing for a long time. If anyone in your house uses a wheelchair, they will also have an easier time getting in a shower that’s big enough for their needs.
A spacious walk-in shower will give the seniors more independence. Of course, you should add various accessories such as non-slippery mats, caddies for shower essentials, and grab bars.
As you can see, improving comfort and safety in your home doesn’t always mean ripping everything out and starting from scratch. In fact, many of the things we’ve discussed, such as adding rugs and carpets or installing grab bars, are relatively easy DIY projects that won’t cost you too much money or time.
These adjustments will help make life easier for everyone in your house, including older residents and family members who visit often. Don’t wait up and start making these changes, and soon you’ll see how much they can benefit the seniors you live with!