As your parents age, they will begin to need some extra help in their day-to-day lives. Your aging parents may need extra care for their memory and cognitive health, assistance with daily tasks and adjustments made to their home and living environment. One of the ways you can help them out is by making some adjustments to their space. If your parents have chosen to age in place and stay home instead of moving into a retirement home, there are a few things that will need to be done.
Depending on what their needs are, here are a few things that may need to be sorted out, sooner rather than later.
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First of all, to avoid slips and falls, you’ll want to take a look at the flooring in their home.
Slippery tiles or wooden floors are never a good idea, and if your parents have rugs scattered all over their home, these might need to be removed or secured to the floor so they don’t cause trips. Carpeted floors are the safest option for seniors, so consider having the floors redone if they’re extra slippery.
Back pain, digestive issues and sleep apnoea are all issues that may arise with old age. Many of the symptoms of these can be aided and alleviated by adjusting one’s bed to sleep in a more comfortable (often more upright) position.
In this case, you can do some research to find the best adjustable beds and help your parents pick the best option for them. This will help them to sleep better and more comfortably and help them manage any related symptoms they might be struggling with.
3. Bed Rails
Sometimes, a bed rail might become necessary too. A bed rail can be placed on the side of your parents’ bed.
This device will allow them to steady themselves as they climb in and out of the bed, making the movement far easier and more comfortable for them. It can also act as a barrier that will prevent them from falling off the bed and hurting themselves, if they are prone to do so.
4. Shower Rails
The bathroom can become a dangerous place for frailer adults, as it’s so easy to slip and fall onto hard, wet tiles. Installing a railing to hold onto in the shower can make matters a little easier. Place a non-slip mat on the floor too, for extra security and grip in the shower.
Rails can also be installed next to the toilet or bathtub to help elevate and lower oneself, as well as act as a grip.
5. Walk-in Tubs
If showering isn’t an option anymore, bathing might be an easier option for your parents. However, climbing in and out of a bathtub might also become difficult and even dangerous. Installing a walk-in tub might be a great solution, if they’re interested in the idea.
Implementing other general bathroom safety measures will help avoid slips and falls and give both you and your parents more peace of mind.
Also read: What is A Toilet Seat Riser?
Stairs can be a real pain, even to younger and more agile folk. If your parents have a lot of little steps and dips in and around their home, replacing them with ramps (and a railing) might be ideal.
If your parents use a wheelchair, this modification will become essential for them to be able to move freely around their home. You will probably need to hire a professional to have these installed, but it will make a palpable difference that will b well worth it.
If your parents live in a double story home, you might want to simply consider moving them into a smaller, more manageable space.
However, if they’re determined to stay in their home but cannot manage the staircase, then a stairlift is a good solution. In this way, they will be able to maintain their independence and move freely up and down the stairs comfortably.
8. Brighter Lights
There are many ways to improve the lighting in your home and this is an important adjustment to make as your parents get a little older. As you age, your eyesight is likely to deteriorate a little, making it harder to see.
Of course, vision correction is important, but you can also make things easier for your parents by brightening up their space and making it a little easier for them to see what they’re doing. Living in a dark house can be dangerous for seniors, so turn up the lights!