Our homes provide comfort, stability, and familiarity. These feelings are important for the overall well-being of your senior parents. While it is always challenging to ensure that they are safe and healthy in your home, there are many cheap and easy ways to make sure this is the case.
Many people think that they need to spend thousands of dollars to renovate their homes before welcoming their aging parents. Some think they have to retrofit their homes, add rooms, and change the layout to make it safe for their parents. That’s not always true. Welcoming your parents into your home shouldn’t be expensive. Instead, the transition should be as seamless as possible.
You don’t need to renovate your home to make it safe for seniors (and even toddlers). You just need to remove all potential hazards such as throw rugs, clutter, and extension cords. Falls are the leading cause of injury for seniors. By removing these fall hazards, you are halfway to protecting your senior parents.
Keep Floors Safe
Look at the layout of your flooring, as well as the materials you used on your floors. Ceramic tiles are the most slippery, so you might need to apply an anti-slip solution to the tiles. You don’t need to change your flooring into less slippery materials. For more ideas, you can look at the flooring solutions for locker rooms that gyms and schools use in their facilities. These are the same solutions that you might need to do for your home to make them safe for the elderly.
Prevent Possibility of Fire
Keep your parents safe by protecting your home against fire. You can comfortably attend to your work and other tasks and leave your parents at home if you remove all fire hazards from your home. What are these fire hazards that you might not be considering? Some potential fire hazards are the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, electric cords of appliances, candles, and space heaters.
Focus on the Bathroom
The bathroom is the riskiest room in your house. But again, you do not need to renovate it fully. You just have to add some safety accessories such as grab bars, thermostat, rubber mats, special bathing chair, hand-held showerhead, handlebars, raised toilet seat, and nightlight. Adding these tools to your bathroom will ensure that your parents are going to have a safe time using the bathroom even during at night.
Sure, you’re okay with dim lights in your home because it adds to the relaxing mood you want to have. However, once you have your elder parents with you at home, you need to assess the lights you have installed. You can change the light bulbs with brighter ones, especially in your parents’ home. You should focus on changing the light fixtures to motion-detection lighting inside and outside your house. This way, the elderly won’t have to try to find and turn on the lights every time they enter a room.
Forget About the Stairs
Instead of installing a stairlift which, in all honesty, can be hazardous, too, forget about its use for the elderly. If your parents are going to be moving in with you, make sure that everything they need is on the floor where they will be staying. While it is good for them to exercise going up and down the stairs, this should only be done when you are present and not when they are alone in the house. The only thing you have to worry about the stairs is if you have one on the porch. This means you have to install a ramp so the elderly can easily get in and out of the house.
The only thing you truly have to spend on when it comes to making your house senior-friendly is smart home technology. You need this even without the elderly living with you. It will protect your home from criminals. You will have access to your home’s security even when you’re in the office. This way, if you forgot to lock the doors, you do not have to ask your elderly parents to lock them for you. The smart home system can send a warning and you can control it from your phone.
More than that, you need to check out some wearables, too. These wearables come as bracelets or anklets that will send a warning if the elderly fell, slip, or lose consciousness. They can also be connected to medical facilities so appropriate care can be sent.
The common misconception is that you have to alter your lifestyle and renovate your home if you decide to take care of your elderly parents at home. This isn’t true at all. With proper communication, resourcefulness, and a lot of care and patience, everything will fall into place.