While you may never stop to think about it, the home can be a dangerous place for a senior. Mobility issues and cognitive challenges can make it difficult for your aging loved one to fulfill the tasks she used to without any problem, putting her at potential risk of serious injury should she attempt these tasks on her own. If your loved one has made the decision that she wishes to age in place rather than transition into an assisted living facility, you can make a dramatic improvement to her quality of life simply by making modifications throughout the home to increase senior home safety and give her greater independence.
Not all aging adults are in need of constant elderly care. In fact, many are perfectly capable of living on their own and taking care of nearly everything for themselves with the occasional bit of help running errands or handling heavier household tasks. If this describes your loved one, it is critical that you encourage this independence as much as possible. The more space your aging loved one has to live her own life and feel autonomous, the better she will feel about herself, and the better her physical and psychological health will be. In order to accomplish this, you will need to carefully go through the home and make changes that will help your loved one enjoy aging in place to its fullest while staying safe and healthy.
As soon as your loved one makes the decision that she wants to remain in her own home as she ages, you need to start making plans to prepare the home for this form of elderly care. If your loved one has lived in the home for many years, especially if you lived in the home when you were younger, it may be beneficial to have a professional home modification company come to the home to determine what areas will need to be fixed in order to provide a safer and more handicap accessible home for your loved one.
For many seniors and homes, renovation will be necessary to truly provide the greatest benefits. This may not be an option for everyone, but if you have the opportunity to make these changes, they can make a massive difference for your aging loved one. Some of the most meaningful renovations to help seniors age in place safely and comfortably include:
- Build an addition or renovate a downstairs room to create an accessible master suite for your loved one on the main level of the home.
- Adjust the size and shape of the kitchen to make moving around it easier and safer. This could include lowering counters and islands to adjust to the height of a senior who is wheelchair bound.
- Increase the size of the main bathroom to allow for easier mobility.
- Install a walk-in tub for ease of use and independent bathing.
- Install wheelchair ramps throughout the home and on the exterior for ease of mobility.
- Install smooth, even flooring throughout the home for easy mobility and to prevent tripping.