Besides being welcoming and warm, your home should be a safe haven for your family. If your aging parents live with you, you may need to make some necessary changes to ensure they remain happy and healthy. Here are just some of the updates you can make to your house to ensure this:
1. Help Them With Communication
As your parents get older, their memory may not be as strong as it used to be. Chances are that they cannot remember their own phone number, much less yours. Observe them first. Can your aging parents make calls without squinting at the screen? Today’s cell phones can be difficult to navigate especially if the user is used to older models.
Consider replacing their phones with basic models that have larger keypad displays or buttons and a large screen. That way, they can get in touch with you immediately if you are not at home with them. Set up a call display feature on the phones as well so they know you are the one calling them. Plus, keep a list of emergency numbers right next to the telephone where they can see it immediately.
2. Declutter Your Home
Even simple toys can become hazards if your aging parents live with you. Failing eyesight can miss a Lego in the hall or a pile of laundry that you forgot about because of a busy schedule. Any of that clutter can cause them to trip and fall leading to injuries that can be life-threatening in their advanced years.
Then there is clutter or memorabilia that your parents refuse to part with such as ticket stubs from years ago, old photographs that have faded with time, old furniture, and small knick-knacks that hold memories. Start discarding items one at a time slowly but make sure you tell your aging parents when you do. Explain that it is for their own good and how clutter can compromise their safety.
3. Add Lighting
Buy plugin night lights for dark halls and areas. This is will prevent trips and falls. It will also give more confidence to someone that might not be very steady on their feet. It’s honestly a good idea for anyone that might appreciate lighted guidance when you are half asleep trying to get to the bathroom.
Add more and/or brighter lighting to rooms. Older eyes often have trouble taking in light. Make it easier for aging parents when they want to do a crossword or puzzle.
4. Add Railings
Anywhere that someone has to step up or bend over, make it easier and add a railing or two. This includes on the walkway or stoop outside, bathrooms around toilet and shower, and any stairway. Make sure the railings are adequately bolted to the walls so that they can hold the entire person’s weight.
5. Reorganize Shelves
That top shelf might not be the best place to store the glasses. Once it might not have been an issue, but aging parents won’t be able to reach high like they used to. Bring the necessities down to an easier level for them to access. The last thing you want is for someone to fall from a step stool. Perhaps monitor their activity in certain rooms to make sure they are not having trouble. A lot of times an older adult will be too embarrassed to ask for help. Make it to where they don’t have to.
Safety Inspection and Checklist
If you have a busy schedule and are constantly worrying about your aging parents or grandparents who wish to age in place, get in touch with us at Stay At Home Safety. We can send home safety inspectors around yours or their home and pinpoint safety hazards, create a safety checklist, make recommendations as well as recommend contractors and handymen who can implement their solutions.