Ageing Parents

How to Make Your Home Safe for Ageing Parents

(Last Updated On: April 14, 2022)

We may not like it, but the passage of time leaves its mark both on our loved ones and us. It requires us to change our approach toward life constantly. One of the most significant projects you can undertake is adapting your home to help an ageing relative.

Once you have gotten your ageing parents equipped with sufficient healthcare and over 60 life insurance, you might now consider going a step further and get your parents living conditions “ageing-ready.” For instance, you could solve their mobility issues by installing accessibility features, such as a wider doorway, chairlift, or ramp.

Additionally, you might want to light up your living space with motion-activated lights. Another good idea is to invest in some smart-home devices, as they can make your parents’ lives much easier. Preventing falls by rearranging furniture and placing no-slip strips in the bathtub and shower is also something you should consider doing.

If you would like to help your ageing parents but are unsure where to start, below, you will find excellent ideas to create a safe environment for your folks.

Rearrange the Furniture

Because falls are a common cause of injury for older adults, the first thing you might want to do is rearrange the furniture. You should remove small items from tables and desks, as they may fall under your feet. Moreover, it’s advisable to move some pieces of furniture farther from the walls so that your loved ones have more space to walk around them.

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Make sure to place chairs, tables, and other obstacles away from walkways. Moreover, you might consider removing some furniture and storing it in another room or in a self-storage unit in California, for example, to allow for better organization and putting away appliances and furniture that are not in use.

Doing all of these things will help you make your parents’ home a much better place to live in. It is a straight forward way to keep your loved ones safe and sound.

Install Accessibility Features

One of the main reasons it is so crucial for you to adjust your home to ageing relatives is that they are not as mobile as they used to be. Making a few changes to help them move around the house could significantly improve the current situation.

If your ageing parents find it harder to walk or climb stairs, consider installing some accessibility features. For example, you could opt for a ramp or widen your doorways and hallways.

Here are some other ideas you can explore:

  • Replace knobs and handles with levers, as they are easier to use by people with limited mobility.
  • Place grab bars in the bathroom, near the toilet and the shower.
  • Another good idea is to install a shower seat and a hand-held showerhead.
  • Remove throw rugs, as they can be a hazard.

Install Motion-Activated Lights

Motion sensors are a great way to make your parents’ lives easier and safer. If you decide to install motion-activated lights, they will help your loved ones see after dark and avoid tripping over things. They provide constant illumination without having to turn them on and off manually.

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Motion-activated lights are also quite safe. They do not require batteries, are easy to install, and do not have any additional electrical current that might hurt someone.

You can install detectors that use infrared rays. These sensors detect changes in heat. Alternatively, you could opt for models that detect changes in reflected light patterns. They are excellent for detecting motion as well as movement and shadows.

Set Up Your Stairs for Safety

One of the leading causes of household injuries for people over 60 is falling. As your parent’s age, their ability to control and maneuver their bodies decreases. This is why you need to pay special attention to their stairs, which can be particularly dangerous.

Without a doubt, climbing up and down the stairs is one of the most tiring tasks your parents have to deal with — especially if they suffer from bad back, leg problems or balance issues. Therefore, you should consider installing a stairlift. This device will make it easy for your folks to move upstairs or downstairs at their own pace.

Additionally, ensure your parents have non-slip steps, extended handrails, color contrasting adhesive strips on the edge of each step, and a wide stairway.

Invest in Smart-Home Solutions

Smart devices are an outstanding solution for ageing people, as they offer independence and convenience while providing you with peace of mind. For example, smart locks can be a fantastic way to avoid accidental lockouts or lost keys.

A smart thermostat can be set to automatically adjust the home’s temperature based on the time of day and the occupants’ preferences. Models are available for those without a c-wire as well. Furthermore, it allows you to control the temperature remotely. This invention will help reduce your parents’ energy bill and make their home more comfortable.

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As we mentioned before, you can also set up smart lighting to automatically illuminate your parents’ rooms when the sun goes down. And then there are motion-sensing doorbells and door locks. The possibilities are endless!

Conclusion

There is no doubt that ageing comes with a lot of problems. By helping your loved ones, you are not only making their lives easier but also creating a closer bond between you and them.

Be ready for changes when ageing starts to take its toll on your parents. Adapt your home to fit their needs and ensure they have everything they need to stay safe.

If you have an ageing parent who lives with you, you should take the time to assess their mobility, health, and safety needs. Although some of the projects listed above might seem challenging, even minor adjustments can make a big difference in your parent’s life.

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