As people grow older they can’t get around as easily and they also have difficulties with balance more often. Sometimes they don’t lift their feet up as high when they are walking, and they may need extra space and width to walk so they don’t trip on anything. Also, they may forget to look ahead for where they are walking.
Your loved one may be using senior care services within their own home; if so, the home should be as senior-friendly as possible. It’s the same idea as making a home kid-friendly when there are little children about. You wouldn’t want the home to be unsafe for your aging family member any more than you would want an unsafe home for little children.
There are different needs and abilities at each age as we progress throughout life. If we come to accept and embrace this fact, it will be easier to realize that if modifications need to be made, we should just go ahead and make them.
What kind of modifications might be necessary?
- The main bedroom where your aging loved one sleeps should be on the main floor of the home so that they don’t have to negotiate the stairs to get from their bedroom to the rest of the house.
- Installation of a ‘stair lift’ if necessary.
- Replace doorknobs with handles that pull.
- Install a wheelchair ramp.
- Widen doorways for easier maneuvering.
- Any other additions of technology that can assist the senior in everyday living.
What are the benefits of home modifications?
- They help the aging person to feel independent and live in their own home for a longer period of time.
- They make the home easier for the senior to maintain.
- They reduce the risk of falls and other injuries within the home.
- They make the home more accessible, as more rooms can be utilized when they have been modified.
- The senior feels more comfortable staying at home, especially if modifications have been made which make the home a safer place for them to live.
How do you know where to begin?
- Go through the home with your aging loved one and watch them maneuver each room and see what they struggle with.
- Ask your loved one’s senior home services caregiver if they have noticed any difficulties with your loved one going from room to room.
- Brainstorm with your senior and see if they have any suggestions for what should be modified.