When the time comes for your aging parents to move in, it’s important to do some early planning that will turn your house into a senior-friendly residence. Even if they are active and overall healthy, seniors have specific health risks that you may not be aware of. Their special needs are easy to overlook if you have children running around. Consider this list as you prepare for your parents to move in. It will take time for everyone to adjust, but together, you can create a fuller, happier home.
Make the Bathroom More Accessible
The bathroom is essential for everyone, but it may be difficult for senior citizens to navigate, especially if they suffer from arthritis or limited mobility. Falls are a major contributing factor to traumatic brain injuries. To keep your parents safe, add slip-prevention mats in the shower and next to it, and place grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower or tub. You can also purchase a shower seat that will make washing up easier for seniors who may have difficulty getting in and out of a bathtub without assistance. Extra lighting and adjustable showerheads are also welcome additions.
Carpet is the best flooring for senior citizens, but if you have hardwood and linoleum throughout your home, nonslip runners can work effectively to prevent falls. In large spaces, you can also add rugs that furnish a better grip. Other ways to make a floor less slippery include adding an antislip treatment. These solutions can be mixed at home and easily applied with a mop to tiles, wood, marble and concrete floors. Ensure that your layout is also senior-friendly. Arrange furniture so that elders always have something to grab onto for support, and strive to have a clear, direct path throughout the home, especially when it comes to the kitchen and bathroom.
As people get older, going up and down the stairs multiple times a day can be difficult and even painful. Installing a stair lift will give your senior parent a sense of independence in your home. There are many different types of stair lifts available, including battery-operated and curved models. On average, stair lifts cost between $2,000 and $5,000, but some models may cost over $10,000. Because they are not typically covered by insurance or Medicare, stair lifts are a personal investment you should make if your parent needs greater assistance getting around.
Taking in your senior parent(s) is a selfless act that gives you a wonderful opportunity to spend time with them in their golden years. These preparations will ensure that their transition into your home is a welcoming one.
Planning a more in-depth remodel to make your home more senior-friendly? Talk to our experts.