Adapting Your Home for Aging Parents: 5 Essential Modifications

Life can be unpredictable, and for those facing situations where they are caring for elderly parents, one of the paramount issues is making the home space comfortable and safe. While the modifications that need to be made will depend on your specific circumstances and the person’s mobility levels and needs, there are several essentials to get started. These ideas might help you with key changes, or help you think of other specific ones that will work for your situation. 

Changes Sometimes Need to Be Made for Older Adults’ Care

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One of the issues surrounding the care of the elderly is that the situation doesn’t always remain the same. Sometimes, families start with aging adults in the home, but they need to be moved to assisted living facilities because of needing a greater level of care. Or maybe they have been in a facility due to needing extra care after an illness or injury, in those cases the person may move back with family. As the situations and circumstances flex and change, it can be challenging. People may move to different facilities for specific care needs. If you’ve dealt with a situation where you suspect neglect in assisted living facilities, a trusted law team can help. 

1.  Consider Installing Ramps With Handrails

Ramps with handrails leading to the front door can be a smart choice for older adults. This makes it easily accessible for those using wheelchairs, walkers, or canes. Even elderly persons who don’t use those pieces of assistance equipment may still struggle with walking up and down stairs due to other balance or mobility issues. A smooth, gradual ramp with handrails leading up the front door can make it easily accessible for any level an older adult is at. 

2. Install Grab Bars to Make Everyday Tasks Easier 

Installing grab bars in locations where seniors may need a little extra assistance or to keep from slipping, such as in the bathroom, is another good option. These may be installed near the toilet and shower to help moving in, at, and around the bathroom a little easier. These should be properly installed and secured to help prevent any injury. 

3. Think About Replacing Existing Showers With Safe Set-Ups

Depending on the type of bath or shower set up currently in the home, it could be worth considering replacing existing showers for safer surrounds or other types of showers. For example, you may replace a traditional shower set-up with a new surround that includes a walk-in shower and a shower seat. Hand-held shower heads, non-slip tub flooring or non-slip mats, and grab bars in the shower itself can also be handy modifications to make bathing and hygiene safer and easier. 

4. Flooring Throughout the Home

The safety and condition of the flooring throughout the home is another aspect to consider. Loose rugs can be a tripping hazard, and any uneven or damaged areas could also lead to slips and falls. Make sure rugs are secured with non-skid backing and secure to the floor. Fix damaged areas on flooring or consider installing new flooring if needed; low-impact flooring backed by rubber or cork can be a good option. Laminate flooring can be a solid option that works well with wheelchairs or walkers. Carpeting with long or shag-style naps can also be a tripping hazard, so consider replacing it with carpeting that has a shorter nap and/or tighter weave. 

5. Replace Handles and Pulls With Accessible Versions

A fairly simple but important modification to make for aging adults can be to swap out things like door handles, kitchen cabinet pulls, and other knobs, handles, and pulls in the home with versions that are easy to use and accessible. Things like arthritis or other nerve and joint problems can make it difficult to use door handles or cabinet pulls that require a force of strength, so having alternatives that are easy to use can be a great option for elderly persons. For example, lever-type handles are much easier to use than traditional door knobs. You can also hire a contractor or make this a DIY project. 

Other Home Modifications to Think About for Aging Adults 

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Senior living facilities have come a long way, but they’re not right for everyone. Having older adults in the home might be right for your family. While the above aspects are key to safety for older adults, there are other mods to consider that might be right for your home and situation, too. This could include widening doorways to make them more accessible, lowering kitchen countertops or otherwise modifying kitchen spaces, or installing smart home devices. Adding more lighting, especially in spaces like near stairways or door entrances, and easy-to-use toggle light switches are other options. 

Changes to the Home Can Keep Older Adults Safe 

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All of these modifications can go a long way in protecting the older adults in your home. Whether they’re simple changes, such as swapping out light switches and door handles, or they’re a bit more involved, like new flooring or shower surrounds, the result can be safety, security, and peace of mind for your family. 

Pets for seniors are a fantastic idea. If you’re living with an elderly person, you may need to make some modifications for older adults to your home — and maybe even their pet too.   

Brain health is important for seniors, and that includes feeling comfortable and safe in their surroundings. If you’re living with an elderly person, you can make home modifications for aging adults that will help them feel safe and secure.

The post Adapting Your Home for Aging Parents: 5 Essential Modifications first appeared on Mama Say What.

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