This is a collaborative post.
If there is one thing we’re sure of in life, it’s getting older. This means your once active and on-the-go parent will inevitably move through the ageing process, meaning as they reach retirement and beyond, their health and mobility will begin declining.
If your elderly parent is always popping over or staying the night, you’ll want to ensure your home is adapted to their ongoing needs. With that in mind, here are some smart ways to make your home safer for your elderly loved one.
Install a Stairlift
Getting up and down stairs can be challenging as you get older. If your loved one has difficulty doing so, they’re sure to benefit from using a stairlift. While this may be seen as a costly adaption, if they’re always coming round and staying over, you should think about installing one, especially if you only have an upstairs bathroom. The last thing you want is to see your loved one struggle to get up each step, so installing a stairlift is a no-brainer.
One of the obvious benefits of a stairlift is increased safety. There’s a very low risk of your loved one falling down the stairs if they’re sitting on the seat. They’re also comfortable and easy to use. Your elderly loved one will appreciate a stairlift as it will restore their independence and mean they don’t have to ask for assistance getting up and down the stairs. You can purchase stairlifts from Adapt a Home. They also sell a variety of mobility aids and disability aids that your loved one can benefit from.
Install Grab Rails
Another great way to lower the risk of falls in the home for your elderly parent is by installing extra support, like a grab rail. This is a type of rail that can be beneficial for those with conditions that impact mobility, such as osteoporosis and arthritis. Grab rails allow your loved one to release pressure on the joints, helping them to move more freely.
You should add grab rails in your bathroom. This will help your elderly parent get in and out of the shower or bath, as well as use the toilet without needing assistance. Some people are prone to dizzy spells, particularly in the warmer months, so it’s wise to fit a grab rail close to seating in the kitchen.
Clear Up Clutter
As your loved one gets older, their risk of having a slip and fall increases. This is because when we age, our mobility and sight decline, which makes it harder to spot objects on the floor. Your first port of call should be to clear up any clutter around the home. Try and keep your house as tidy as possible. If there are any items that could be a hazard, make sure they’re stored away before your loved one turns up. Also, move any unnecessary obstructions like magazines, papers, extension cables, and pet beds. If your loved one has a particular seat they go to in the living room, make a clear path for them that’s free of obstacles.
If your elderly parent uses a wheelchair or walking aid, ensure there’s lots of room for them to move around safely and comfortably with ease. This may mean moving sofas or tables to sit along the edge of the room. Any unstable furniture should be put close to walls too. It will only take minutes to do all these tasks. Once they’re done, you can be safe in the knowledge your loved one can visit with a lower risk of having an accident.
Invest in Good Lighting
When we need the toilet during the night, many of us make the quick trip without turning the light on. However, if you have an elderly parent staying over, their vision and mobility may not be like it once was. This means you need to invest in good lighting that will ensure your loved one knows where they’re going.
Keeping your bedroom and bathroom well-lit is one of the best ways to prevent falls. Make sure light switches are within easy reach too. You may benefit from installing motion sensor lighting too which detects movement.
Fit a Ramp
If your elderly parent uses a wheelchair to get around, one of the biggest obstacles they may face is getting through your front door. Should you have a step that leads up to it, your loved one will have great difficulty. Therefore, fitting a ramp provides easy access for your elderly parent to come and go as they please.
You may even wish to go one step further and replace the steps to your front door altogether. They can pose a significant danger in the autumn and winter months, especially because of snow and ice. Make sure you add a sturdy handrail alongside the ramp so your loved one can hold onto it.
With your parent getting older, it’s understandable that you’ll want to spend as much time with them as possible. This means if they’re coming round to yours, making minor and major adaptions will ensure their health and safety are always put first.