Even if your elderly loved one doesn’t live alone, making adjustments to his or her home to make it more accessible is important to safety and independence. Imagine how frustrating it must be to not be able to navigate your own home because there are obstructions that keep you from even getting in the front door! Read these 7 ways to make accessible homes for senior citizens.
To learn more about the difficulties that senior citizens face, read our article Top Legal Issues for Senior Citizens.
First things first: Your mom or dad or elderly relative has to be able to get in the front door. If he or she is wheelchair-bound, that’s going to be tricky without a ramp. Installing a wheelchair ramp should be one of the very first things on your list if your loved one is not able to walk.
Maybe your loved one isn’t confined to a wheelchair, but if he or she uses a walker, front doors and doorways inside the home could serve as a challenge. Bulky walkers don’t always fit through standard-sized doorways. If this is posing an issue to your loved one for getting around their home with relative ease, consider widening doorways and entrances.
This is a major adjustment to a home, but it’s a necessary one for many people who use a wheelchair. Unless you move your loved one’s bedroom downstairs, and there is no need to access the second floor of the house, a stairway lift is going to be a necessary feature to add to the home. Even if your loved one uses just a cane or a walker, a stairway lift could be very beneficial for independence and mobility.
Carpeting and rugs can pose a threat to seniors who are frail and not very agile. It’s easy for a cane, a walker and especially a wheelchair to get stuck on bulky carpeting or rugs. Try to eliminate the use of rugs in the home, and consider replacing carpeting with wood or tile floors.
These are easy to install and add a whole new level of safety to the bathroom, where slips and falls are common. Install a handlebar on either side of the toilet, in the shower and around the sink.
Elderly people have a difficult time standing up for long periods of time, especially in the shower where things can get very slippery. To keep your elderly loved ones safe in the bathroom, add a shower seat. This way, they can bathe with relative ease and perhaps need less assistance, so they may enjoy their privacy.
Toilet and vanity accessibility
Many people opt to raise the toilet to make it easier for elderly people to reach. This is a major renovation but could most definitely be worth it. If you have a bulky vanity that is hard to access, consider swapping it out for something that a wheelchair or walker can fit underneath.
Making accessible homes for senior citizens is key because keeping the senior citizens in your life safe is hugely important. That’s why we’re here to keep you informed on how you can increase the quality of their life. Give us a call for more tips and advice.
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