Growing older brings many benefits, including wisdom, a treasure trove of memories, and in many cases, grandchildren. However, aging can also bring struggles with mobility, memory loss, and medical conditions. These things can cause concern for many seniors who want to remain in their own homes as they age, which is also referred to as aging in place. If your parents have gotten to this point and they want to stay at home, here are five things you can do to make their home safer for them.
Many seniors begin to have mobility issues as they age. By making a few changes, you can improve the accessibility of their home. Some ways to do this are:
- Install a Stair lift – Those two-story homes that were great for raising families can become unsafe when your parents have difficulty using the stairs. Consider installing a stair lift so they can easily access all parts of their home.
- Add a Wheelchair Ramp – If your parents will be using a wheelchair or scooter at some point, you may want to install a wheelchair ramp at the various entrances of their home.
- Widen Doorways – Some older homes have narrow doorways, which can create problems if your parents use a mobility device, such as a wheelchair or scooter. Widening the doorways may eliminate this problem.
Slippery tile can be a serious safety hazard for people as they get older. Installing a more slip-resistant type of flooring, such as carpet, cork, bamboo, and some types of vinyl floors may be a safer option.
Traditional, round door knobs can be difficult for some seniors to open, especially if they have arthritis. Lever-style door knobs allow them to open doors with a gentle push down on the lever.
Installing grab bars in bathrooms may help prevent falls from slipping in the tub or shower. Grab bars in other areas of the home, such as next to their bed, may also be helpful.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, four out of ten seniors own smartphones, so it only makes sense to find ways to use them to help your parents to safely and securely remain in their homes. Available technology includes:
- Security system cameras they can access on their smartphones.
- Voice-activated IoT (internet of things) technology to control electrical devices and appliances.
- Smart pill containers that store medications, provide reminders, and reorder prescriptions.
- Smartphone apps designed to make life easier, including food delivery services and apps that allow them to consult with a doctor.
A Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) is someone, such as a builder or contractor, who has gone through an extensive training program to learn how to consider design concepts and create solutions for aging clients who want to age in place.
Aging in place comes with many challenges, but you can meet many of those challenges head-on with a few simple changes. Keep these ideas in mind as you help your parents make the necessary modifications that will enable them to remain in their own home as they get older.
Joseph Jones has been writing senior care and aging-related articles for years. He got his start while writing for a personal blog before he was offered to work at California Mobility in 2018 as the Content Marketing Manager, creating highly informative guides and health awareness articles for aging adults.
He’s currently contributing to a variety of blogs in the senior health industry in hopes to spread information about taking care of seniors and what to expect in the aging process.
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