Getting old is part of life and part of getting old means requiring special care. No matter who in your family is reaching the senior years, you will probably need to make changes in your home to be able to accommodate the needs of your elderly family member. Much like how you would baby-proof your home when you are expecting a baby, you will need to prepare your home to make it appropriate for elderly home care.
If you or a family member is reaching old age and you have decided that home care is the best option, here are some tips to help you prepare your home and ensure that it is safe and appropriate for elderly care.
- Install railings and grab bars. One of the things that will be greatly affected with old age is the person’s mobility. Make sure to install railings and grab bars where they are needed the most, such as along steps, beside the toilet, in the bathtub, and in the shower area. Check that the railings and grab bars you install are securely attached.
- Put ramps or stairlifts. If your senior-aged loved one requires the use of a wheelchair, you will have to make your home wheelchair-friendly by putting ramps where steps are and installing a stairlift if you have a multi-level home. Building ramps over existing steps are easy enough to DIY, while you may opt for short term stairlift rental as a cheaper alternative to purchasing one.
- Place adequate lighting. Eyesight is also often affected during old age, so make sure that your elderly loved one can see well around your home by installing adequate lighting. Put nightlights in the elderly person’s bedroom, the hallway, and the bedroom. You may put light strips by doorways, along stairways, and even across steps. Go around your house and check that all areas are well-illuminated.
- Check locks. When you have an elderly loved one living with you, it is a good idea to make sure that all locks are working well. Windows and doors that lead outside should be securely locked when needed, especially if your elderly loved one tends to wander off. You may choose to remove the locks of the doors inside the house, particularly the bathroom and bedroom doors that your elderly loved one regularly use, to ensure that he or she does not accidentally lock himself or herself in.
- Have medical information available. It is essential to have medical and contact information available with your elderly loved at all times. This will make it easy for anyone to provide medical help and contact you should anything happen to your elderly loved one.
- Keep dangerous items away from easy reach. Just like how you would keep dangerous items such as poison, knives, sharp objects, guns, and medication away from easy reach of kids, you should do the same when you have a senior-aged person living with you.
- Make every area a safe zone. Keep all areas frequented by your elderly loved one clutter-free. Use anti-slip flooring if you possible and check for any uneven and cracked spots in your floor. You may also put padding on sharp edges and corners.
Author Bio: Rana Tarakji is an entrepreneur and a contributing writer at OneSEO who lives in Beirut, Lebanon. Rana Tarakji is passionate about digital marketing, startups, helping entrepreneurs grow, and empowering them to live their dreams. She has worked as a digital marketer, a technology co-founder and business developer, and a writer.