How to Make a Home Safe for Your Aging Parent
Many people focus more on the beauty of their homes that they forget about whether it can accommodate different members of the family or not. For instance, as parents grow old, they become unstable, weak, and their bodies end up being unable to manage the day to day functions. Such as lacking the strength and grip to tread on particular floors or climb a flight of stairs. That is because they develop sarcopenia, which is an age-related weakness.
It is thus your duty to notice these problems and try to fix them the best way possible. Without initiating timely solutions, seniors end up having detrimental falls and other challenges that lessen the quality of their lives. That is why you need the below safety home safety ideas if you want to make your home a safe haven for seniors.
Do away with slippery floors
According to research, one in every four American seniors fall every year. That translates to a total of 2.8 million fall injuries among seniors annually. It is why the first thing you need to do is to replace any slippery floor you have in your home. Some of the floor types that are unsafe for seniors include tile floors, polished marble, and granite floors. To be on the safe side, you should consider non-slip vinyl floors and cork floors. You can also opt for linoleum floor coverings, which is by far the healthiest form of flooring for seniors. With such options, you don’t have to worry about spending too much money treating frequent fall injuries.
Secure a shower bench
The bathroom can be a dangerous place for seniors. That is because everything tends to be slippery, thus maximizing the chances of seniors slipping and injuring themselves. It is why you need to secure a shower bench. Most people tend to go for shower benches that stand on their own in the bathroom. You should, however, opt for a transfer bench if you want to make the place much safer for seniors. Unlike a standalone shower bench, a transfer bench aids the senior as they enter the bathroom. It maximizes their independence and reduces the chances of bath related falls significantly. You can also opt for handheld showers if you want to give them absolute comfort.
Light up your home properly
More than 3% of Americans aged 40 years and above have partial or worse vision impairment. That is according to a study by the center for disease control and prevention or CDC. It is why you need to ensure that your home has adequate light at all times. In case that is not the case, invest in high quality LED night lights and place them at different locations in your home. You should also make sure that you put them on every entryway for seniors to see. Other areas you need to have adequate lighting include on the staircase, in the bathroom, and also in the kitchen. By doing so, you are going to keep seniors from accidentally running into walls.
Make the entryways accessible
If the seniors in your home are using wheelchairs, you need to make sure that every entryway is accessible. You can do so by either investing in wheelchair lifts or by building a ramp. The surface of the ramp needs to be a bit rough for easy movement of the wheelchair. For every 12inch make sure it rises by 1inch. That is how you make it comfortable for seniors. With accessible entryways, seniors can easily take a stroll around the yard without asking for help. It also gives them the independence they need to enjoy life. It is one thing that you should deal with as soon as you realize there is a senior in the house.
Install grab bars
Older seniors are definitely going to have problems standing upright and walking around the house. In places where wheelchairs are inaccessible, you should consider installing grab bars for their comfort. In toilets, the grab bar should be at least 33 inches high from the ground. In showers, it should be at most 6inches in the horizontal direction. You can also include them along the staircase and the hallway. Keep in mind that there are so many types of grab bars. You should, however, pay more attention to those that are not slippery as well as the adjustable ones. Such grab bars are easy to use, and you can adjust them to fit the needs of the seniors.
Do away with floor rugs
It is possible that you are using rags to either hide dents on the floor or to enhance the beauty of your home. Either way, for the sake of the seniors, you need to do away with rugs. That is because they are among the leading causes of falls among seniors. Every year, US hospitals treat more than 37,000 citizens aged 65years and above due to rug-related fall injuries. Instead, leave the floor bare and let them enjoy the luxury of moving around in harmony. The only rug you can consider leaving in place is a runner. That is because, in case of a fall, it can protect the seniors from getting acute injuries.
Get the anti-slip bath mats
Remove the bathroom doormats and, instead, get the anti-slip bath mats. These mats come in different designs and shapes. Their main aim is to prevent seniors from falling due to the slippery bathroom floors that result from water and soap. The combination of anti-slip bath mats with grab bars can make your home safe for aging parents. It is also one of the best ways to minimize bathroom falls significantly. Remember, these types of falls are prevalent among aging parents. But with anti-slip bath mats and grab bars, consider seniors to be safe.
All the above methods are significant in ensuring your aging parents live in a safe environment. Each idea plays a unique role. By including some or all in your home will make it a haven for any senior. Don’t forget to focus more on the bathroom and toilet ideas. You should also focus more on ensuring there is adequate lighting so that your aging parents can see clearly.