Aug 10, 2017

5 Tips On Adapting Your Home to Seniors’ Needs

Growing up, every human being rejoices the moment when they are able to do a task independently for the first time. This is the reason why it is sometimes very hard for some people to face the fact that yet once again they cannot be independent and require assistance in their day-to-day life. For most, the moment of dependency can be postponed or even permanently canceled by adjusting the home they live in.
Stair Lift

Think about the sleeping area

Every member of the household has a place to sleep. When considering a bedroom for a senior, bear in mind that their health and dexterity might deteriorate with time. Regardless of the fact that they now are capable of climbing the stairs, they may not always be, so try to find a room on the ground floor. There may not be one at the moment, but perhaps you can put down some walls and rearrange the rooms. If this is not an option, install a stair lift or at least be ready to install one once there is a need for it, don’t let it catch you off guard. Assess the needs of your elderly occupant and get the furniture which will suit them the best. Usually higher beds and firm mattresses allow people to get up easier.

Modify the bathroom

This is an area where we are particularly accustomed to being alone. However, this is a slippery place and we need to try to make it as safe as possible.  I suggest you replace your conventional bath tub with a shower so to make it easily accessible even for wheelchair users. Place a seat in the shower as it may be easier for an elderly person to take a shower sitting down. Install rails in the shower, next to the toilet and next to the sink.

Consider adjusting the kitchen

One of the first things to consider when doing this is to rearrange the furniture so there is enough space to move around even in a wheelchair. Speaking of wheelchair users, have countertops on several levels so they can be easily used while in a wheelchair or sitting down. Lower the cupboards or rearrange the cooking equipment, spices, and food so as to be at the elderly persons reach as they may fall down trying to reach something from the top shelf. Make sure that the stove and other appliances have easily accessible controls and can be reached from the sitting-down position.

Adapt the communal area

As an elderly person, you want to feel welcome in the home you live in and you do not want to come across obstacles on regular basis. Remove certain pieces of furniture so to make the area easy to maneuver. Similar to the bed mentioned above, get furniture which will be practical for sitting down and getting up with appropriate arm and foot rests. Take down doorsteps between rooms as they are easy to trip on and can be an obstacle for a wheelchair. Get different carpets or remove them altogether as they can be easy to slip on. Keep your house tidy as elderly people can have bad eyesight and balance issues and you do not want them to trip on your clutter. Improve the lighting in the entire house so as to make it easier for them to see where they are stepping. Install a ramp and a rail at the entrance to your house so your beloved senior can easily access the house without needing help from anyone.

Keep them Safe

Keep your elderly occupants safe from intruders, fire, flood etc. Once again try to keep them at the ground level in order to avoid them having to use any electrical equipment in case of emergency. Install appropriate alarms and protective systems. Equip your house with a video intercom so they know exactly who is ringing the doorbell. Senior Services professionals and Aged care providers based in Sydney recommend using personal telecare alarm devices to make sure someone is there for them even if you are not around. They can simply press the button when they feel that they need assistance.

This can be a never-ending list depending on the particular needs of a senior person. The most important is to have them help you assess or hire a professional to help you assess their needs. Depending on your countries health care and benefits system, you can get the funding or a return on investment for a lot of the adjustments you have made to your home to accommodate a senior family member, particularly the medical aids and equipment they have been recommended with. 

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