Home Transformation: Making Your Home Elder-Friendly

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By Tracey Clayton

Your home is spacious and you have everything you need. But eventually, there comes a time when your parents will grow old and will need your help to get through their last years. This is the period where you have to transform your home so that it is elderly friendly. Whether it is your mom, your dad or even both of them, living under your roof should be comfortable. If you lack ideas on what you can do to transform your house into an elderly-friendly one, here is a list of important things that you should pay attention to.

Start with the stairs

If you house has more than one level, you need to work on improving the staircase. Older people are not fond of climbing the stairs every day, which is why you should move them somewhere on the ground floor if possible. If this is not an option, then work on upgrading your staircase. Add handrails on both sides to provide them with a firm grip. Also, add a light source which will light the stairs at night. The last thing your parent needs is falling down the stairs.

No more slippery floors

One thing everyone hates is slippery floors. From kids to grandparents, everyone can slip and fall down easily. If you are having seniors over at your house, try and take care of all slippery areas. You can do this by placing rugs or mats. Another thing you should pay attention to are trips, which are as dangerous as slips. Try and remove all thresholds and move furniture away from each other to create walking space.

Senior-friendly bathroom

The best possible solution would be to have two bathrooms, which both you and the senior in your house can use. But, since this is an unaffordable luxury for many families, one bathroom has to be transformed into something both of you can use. Start by adding grab bars close to your toilet seat and the bathtub. Inside the bathtub, place a handheld shower head on the wall and add a non-slippery mat on the bottom, on which one can stand without the chances of falling and slipping. The most difficult part for them is getting in and out of the bath, so make sure you have a few bars installed for them to grab on to.

A daily dose of fresh air

Clean and fresh air is a very important factor for your home. It is highly advised that you ventilate your home at least several times a day. Also, you can use Oransi air purifiers for rooms which get little to no fresh air. Your parents will most likely not move a lot, which is why you have to do this for them. If you’re not physically present every day, consider hiring a maid or someone who can look after your parents.

Add a few extra light switches

Older people often need more light and the first thing they reach out for is the light switch. If you are able to, add one just above their bed to ensure that they will find it as soon as they need it. Add a few extra light switches around the house and place them a bit lower than they normally are. Make sure there is one on top and at the bottom of the staircase as well. Lights that work on sensor motion are perfect for this scenario.

Work around the yard

You know that all seniors have a lot of free time, which is why they choose to spend a good portion of the day in the garden. Your job is to ensure they will have a place to rest and a place to protect them from the Sun. Planting tall trees or placing parasols is one option of protecting them from the heat. Also, if you have a lot of flowers, raise the beds to a certain point. This will allow your senior parent to sit down on the edge and relax when needed. Also, raised beds reduce stress and tension on the back, as well as fatigue and exhaustion.

These small transformations are crucial for your parent’s safety. They have spent most of their life taking care of you and now it is your time to return the favor. Do everything you can to make them feel as comfortable as possible.

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate in writing. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on Facebook.

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