Today, seniors are living longer than ever before, and a majority want to age in place. As they do, many families will need to provide more care to keep them safe. If your loved one is currently living with you or plans to, here are some ways to make your home safe for your aging parents.
Falls are the leading hazard among seniors, and a major culprit of this is pets. As much as we love our smallest and fuzziest family members, they can be hazardous to aging parents, especially for loved ones who have balance issues. We recommend having an area where you can secure your pet occasionally when your parent needs to move around to avoid the risk of them tripping.
Of course, the flooring throughout your home is a main concern as well. If you have a slippery surface, such as tile, consider changing it. The safest options include rubber, cork, vinyl and soft carpet. These offer more traction and are more comfortable to walk on. Additionally, if there are rugs throughout the year at home, ensure they are low-pile by design and secured with a non-slip pad or tape underneath.
As we age, our vision usually starts to fade and certain things like cataracts can develop, reducing our ability to see in environments that are dim. Make the interior and exterior of the property safer by installing additional lights. Specifically, place adequate lighting in the hallway, bathroom and stairways. Make sure to have sensor lights installed outside to illuminate any walkways and stairs as well.
Showering can become increasingly challenging for seniors, but you can help make it comfortable and safe for your aging parents by having a shower bench installed. These are specifically designed for this purpose so they’re usually strong, sturdy, and reversible. Also, if your shower doesn’t already have a handheld showerhead, now’s the time to install it as well. This will let your parents maintain a sense of pride and independence.
Home automation can make life much easier and safer for seniors who want to age in place. For example, smart thermostats and security systems can let you program the temperature when you want it automatically adjusted. Some systems like Nest also work with smart lights that can switch on by vocal command or through motion sensors. A security system can also give you and your family additional comfort and peace of mind since you can check in remotely using a smartphone or tablet.
One last tip is to consider installing grab bars in areas where there is a higher risk of slippage. Grab bars are simple and essential to have in your home as a senior, even as a simple precaution. Place these beside the toilet, in the shower, and along stairways if possible to provide more stability for your loved one.
You don’t have to face changes needed to help your parents age in place on your own. C-Care offers home caregiving and nursing services that can be tailored to their needs. If you’re located in the GTA, reach out to us to learn more about how we can help your parents continue aging in place safely.
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