There are many challenges to consider when you are upgrading your home to be senior-friendly. As we age, our joints become weaker, our senses wear down, and we become vulnerable to even common colds. If you have a senior living in your home and you worry about his/her health, then you need to make some serious decisions regarding converting your house into a senior-friendly home. It is not easy, as you cannot go on a remodeling spree. It is expensive and time-consuming. But if you consider taking one step at a time and going room by room, you will be able to achieve your desired goal.
Use these novel tips when senior-proofing your home as suggested by https://www.halohealthcare.com/.
Build a Kitchen to be Treasured
Aging fathers and mothers deserve a functional kitchen they will cherish. For starters, your aim should be to increase the accessibility preventing all the crouching and bending. And if you are able to enhance the room’s aesthetics too, that’s an added bonus.
As we age, manual dexterity decreases. Therefore, it is crucial to make the kitchen appliances work for your loved one and not the other way around.
- Get kitchen appliances with simple-to-push button interfaces and easy-to-read controls
- Convert to a wall or side swing oven as it will allow your loved one to easily access the appliance without requiring to lift any heavy objects over the hot door
Next, make sure that your loved one can easily access the items in the pantry.
- Switch to an open shelving design for easy access to frequently used kitchen items
- Change to glass cabinet doors as it will allow your loved one to easily identify items without any hassle
- Use roll-out trays and Lazy Susans for creating increased accessibility
Now focus on faucets. Ensure that kitchen sinks are easier to use to keep your loved one from water burns.
- Install pedal-controlled faucets for easier use and change to a single lever kitchen faucet
- Make sure to insulate exposed hot water pipes
- Set the hot water temperature not more than 120°
- Install pressure-balanced valves to receive water at steady temperatures
Work on the Pathways
The pathway into many homes has uneven surfaces and cracked sidewalks. This is a recipe for a slip and fall disaster if you have a senior living in your home. Refurbish the flooring and reconstruct the levels with smooth surfaces for easier mobility.
- Increase stair visibility using contrast strips on the bottom and top stairs and color contrast between the risers and treads on stairs
- Install rails if you have stairs (on both sides). These rails should accommodate aging grips
- Create a no-rise entry with ramps
- Scuff or add non-slip strips on the surface to create an improved footing
- Add non-slip flooring in the entranceway inside your home
Transform the Entrance into Safe Zones
- Ensure that there is at least one covered entrance into your home
Work the Room – better lighting will keep your loved one safe
- Add motion-sensing lights focused on stairs and ramps. And point the lighting at the back and front door locks
- Increase lighting at all entry areas
Create a Senior-Friendly Bathroom
Safe and easily accessible bathrooms don’t happen on their own. You will have to tackle the bathroom to keep your loved one protected and independent at home. Slips and falls happen in and around the washroom and the shower area. And this is what you can do for the same.
- Add adhesive stickers or slip-prevention flooring throughout the shower area and the washroom. Non-slip strips, non-slip mats in the bath and ensure that the bathtub also includes non-slip mats or stickers
- Avoid investing in cheap non-slip mats as they are not effective and cannot be trusted with the safety of your loved one
- Offer a greater grip. Place grab bars in the tub, shower, and next to the toilet to avoid falls
- Instead of using diagonal bars, use angle, vertical, or U-shaped bars as the avoid hand slippage and decrease the risk of falls
- Ensure that they are securely attached to the wall
Make bath time peaceful and easier. Standing in the slippery shower is risky and sitting on the bath floor is hard.
- Add a bench or a fold-down seat in the shower. Some benches come with extra-padded backs for comfort while others are designed in a way that they extend outside the tub for easy entrance/exit
- Install, adjustable height, hand-held showerheads with and at least 6-foot hose so that your loved one can direct the water where it is needed the best
- Bathrooms are mostly designed for the younger eyes, make sure that you add extra lighting in the washroom and shower area for the senior user
Doing all the modifications on your own can be tedious and quite expensive as well. It is advised that you call in a specialist when senior-proofing your home. There are contractors available with expertise in senior-proofing a living space.