Monday, July 16th, 2018

5 Ways to Age-Proof a Home for Elderly Parents


elderly parents 300x200 5 Ways to Age Proof a Home for Elderly Parents

Guest post by Claire Bradshaw

After a lifetime of raising children and being independent, it can be very important for elderly parents to continue to live in their own home. Unfortunately, the house that was safe for decades can suddenly have hidden pitfalls for an aging resident. Baby boomers caring for their elderly parents need to be able to identify and eliminate those potential hazards.

As people age, it is natural for the body to not operate as efficiently as it once did. Motor skills decline, dexterity is lost and eye sight becomes poor. Rather than ignoring these symptoms, find ways to counter them.

1. On the floors – Many elderly people are susceptible to falls. Remove any throw rugs from the living area. These can become bunched and become a tripping hazard. Make sure cleaners used on tile of vinyl floors do not contain wax, which can cause the surface to become slippery.

2. Lighting – As eyesight deteriorates with age, low light and shadows can increase the dangers in a home for the elderly. Take a walk through the house during the day and the night and identify any potential lighting concerns. In areas that receive little light, low voltage recessed or track lighting can be installed. In addition, there are any number of nightlights available that can be plugged in and include either timers or light sensors so they come on at night. There are also motion-activated lights that can be used to provide guidance to the bathroom at night.

3. Stairs – These can provide multiple problems for seniors and may even force them to eventually stop going to the upper level of the home. Handrails can be an easy solution for those that are still fairly mobile, while a stairlift could be installed for those needing additional help. Stairs that are not carpeted should have some sort of tread to provide better traction.

4. Gripping – Handrails may be even more important in the shower than they are along stairwells. Have the resident show how they move around the bathroom to see what may be needed and where. Safety bars should be placed where they will do the most good. A shower chair, which enables the senior to sit if needed, can also be placed. Handrails on either side of the toilet can assist with sitting or standing.

5. In the kitchen – Make this area as simple to maneuver as possible. Limit the amount of times the parent needs to reach overhead to grab anything. Use vinyl or linoleum for flooring so that it is easy to clean and never put down any rugs.

Today’s modern technology is allowing people to live longer lives and improved medicine keeps them in their homes longer. Nonetheless, aging does have a negative impact on the body and seniors can fall victim to previously unknown hazards that are in their residence. Finding and removing them will increase their quality of life and decrease the chance for a serious injury.

About the Author:

Claire Bradshaw writes for Stairlift Advisor, a site that offers advice on stairlifts grants that can help seniors make home adaptations so they can remain in their own homes for longer.

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