Make Your Home Safer for a Senior Loved One With These Changes

Preparing your home for a senior loved one who will be moving in requires some careful planning. Even if they’re in perfect health, they aren’t necessarily accustomed to the space, so it’s important to think about their safety – as well as their comfort.

This article shares some tips to help make seniors’ homes safer.

Prevent Falls

One of the biggest challenges that seniors face within the home is the danger of a fall, so this is a great place to start when you’re looking for issues prior to the move-in date. The bathroom and kitchen often pose hazards to older adults due to slick floors, so think about how you can make these rooms safer. Bathroom modifications are often as simple as installing grab bars and non-slip mats, but you can also go bigger and replace your bathtub. These days there are several options that are safe for seniors, including one that turns the tub into a step-in shower.

Make Your Home More Accessible

Begin by streamlining the home for health and safety by helping your beloved senior incorporate more exercise, reduce stress, and improve eating habits. Additionally, make the home as accessible as possible for your loved one. If they use a wheelchair or other equipment, will they be able to navigate your home with ease? Measure doorways to make sure they’re at least 32 inches wide, and consider installing ramps or a chair lift over stairs. In the kitchen, make sure necessary tools and pantry items are reachable and consider replacing faucets with touch-control options that are easier on the hands. You can even take accessibility into account with your appliances by upgrading to a refrigerator with a freezer on the bottom.

Use Tech to Your Advantage

Some home modifications will benefit you, as well. Think about how you can use technology to your advantage, such as by adding smart appliances and home devices that will help your loved one feel safer or manage their day more easily. Security systems, personal assistants, and smart systems that control lights and doors are extremely beneficial for older adults and they can give you some peace of mind at the same time. These days, there are even smart medication dispensers that will help a senior keep up with their daily health needs. Do some research to find out which smart options make the most sense for your loved one.

Consider All Your Options

Whether you want to replace the bathtub or give your loved one’s bedroom a makeover for safety and comfort, it’s important to consider all your options when it comes to funding. In some states, there are grants available for home modifications, and you can always apply for a personal loan. Many homeowners opt for refinancing their mortgage, however, as this allows them to reduce their equity in exchange for a cash infusion. There are typically a few fees involved with refinancing, however, so read up on the process and make sure it’s the right move for your needs.

Making home modifications doesn’t have to be a lengthy, expensive task. There are tons of simple things you can change around the house to make it a safer space for your loved one, including removing throw rugs that might be trip hazards or adding the right lighting to prevent falls. Talk to your loved ones about their specific needs before making any big changes, then work out a budget.

As a qualified communications professional, Charlie-Helen Robinson drives engagement in policy, projects, services and fundraising. Feel free to follow me on social media.

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