Seniors and aging loved ones need extra care and attention. The home they live in must be a safe place for them, so they don’t trip, slip, fall or hurt themselves doing everyday tasks. As a family member, it is your task to look for things that you can improve on to make your home safer for the elderly.
Here are some home modifications you can do to senior-proof your home today.
Work on the exterior first
For your home’s exterior, you need to make sure that you have a low maintenance backyard. The senior living at home may not have the energy and dexterity to handle a garden in full bloom.
Your green yard with growing plants and shrubbery must be replaced with something that will not require so much of upkeep, like edible food gardens, native grasses, flowers, trees and a rock garden to name a few.
Your home exterior must be finished with something that will not need a lot of paintwork like vinyl.
Pay attention to the details of the interior
For your home interior, ensure that everything is accessible on the first floor of the house. This includes the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom. If the senior plans on staying at home most of the time, consider converting your home to a first-floor building or a bungalow type where everything they will ever need is easily accessible on one floor.
Hallways – It is important that the hallways must be at least 36 inches in width. This width of a hallway should be able to accommodate a power chair, walker or wheelchair as the case may be. It must also have night lights for seniors to be able to move around easily without the need to find the light switches.
Bathrooms – The handrails on your toilets are essential fixtures that will enable any elderly to rise or lower themselves as they shower or do their business in the bathroom. Additionally, you can replace the old bathtub shower in your Utah home with a walk-in bathtub.
A walk-in tub will make the life of any elderly easy, as they can shower and bathe with ease. Make sure you install handrails around the shower and add a fold-down seat for easy showering and washing. Place some non-slip mats or switch to a non-slip flooring to prevent trips and falls. Finally, make sure the bathroom is well lighted for easy maneuvering inside.
Kitchen – Place all the important items on the lower shelves so the elderly would not need a stool or reach hard to get whatever they need. Make sure your kitchen appliances are the same height as your counters, too, so the elderly at home will not have to bend down to get them. The controls should be clear and easy to access. Have the kitchen well lit to illuminate specific tasks done here.
Finally, it is important to hire a reputable contractor to do all these projects. Look for professionals who create homes that are best suited for older adults. You can ask your local health care provider, hospital or medical facility that may have hired or worked with an experienced contractor in the past. Referrals make more sense because you know they can build homes with senior home safety in mind.