It can be very worrying to watch our elderly parents begin to struggle with daily tasks as they age. Mobility issues and health problems can increase the risk of an accident or injury occurring at home.
You can’t be there 24 hours a day to keep an eye on them, but there are things you can do to help your parents stay safe in their home. Here are some ideas of home modifications that can help older people stay independent.
Future Proof the Stairs
The stairs have the potential to be a very dangerous part of the home, with the risk of a serious fall or getting stuck on the staircase increasing with age. An affordable solution is to get a stairlift fitted, which will enable your parents to get up and down the stairs in comfort and safety.
A stairlift can give someone with limited mobility the freedom to use both floors of their home and removes the need for them to be restricted to living on just one level. Stairlift prices are comparatively inexpensive, especially compared to the cost of moving to a bungalow. Stairlifts can be fitted to most types of staircases. And it’s possible to fit stairlifts for curved stairs in only a few hours.
Install Grab Rails
Carefully positioned grab rails can make daily life much easier and safer for aging parents that aren’t as mobile as they once were. Grab rails are inexpensive to buy and easy to fit. Consider fitting them wherever your parents may need extra support to stand up, such as next to a toilet, bath and shower.
Check the Flooring
For someone who is unsteady on their feet, the type of floor covering can make a big difference to their safety when moving around at home. Rugs and mats in particular can be trip hazards, so either remove these of fix them securely to the floor. Fitted carpets with lots of friction are one option.
Other modifications include apply an anti-slip coating, or fitting non-slip vinyl or slip-resistant tiles in the bathroom.
Update the Lighting
Deteriorating vision due to aging can make it harder to see objects and hazards when moving through the home and increase the likelihood of a trip or bump. Installing the brightest possible light bulbs and putting in new lights in poorly lit areas can make the home safer. Making sure light switches are within easy reach and are easy to operate is another consideration.
Consider Home Automation
Technological advances mean it’s possible to automate some things to make a home safer for elderly folk. Examples you might want to look at include installing a smart thermostat for the central heating, automatic security lights for the exterior of the property and a security system to deter criminals.
These home modifications give you an idea of the sort of changes you can make to ensure your parents are as safe as possible while living independently in their own home. Some of the things mentioned are simple enough to do yourself, whereas other jobs should be done by a professional, such as those approved by the BHTA. By taking the time to look at each area of the home to identify what improvements could be made, you can make the necessary modifications to keep your parents at home.