It can be difficult to see a family member getting old, but unfortunately, we cannot stop time! The inevitable eventually catches up with us all.
Adjusting to life with our family members becoming elderly can seem a daunting process so it is always good to plan ahead where possible to alleviate challenges that may present themselves in our later years.
Whether you are looking to prepare your home or a care plan for yourself or an elderly family member, here are a few of Let’s Fix It’s tips for making sure your home is as safe and accessible as possible.
Every year, 1 in 4 adults over the age 65 take a fall.
How can we reduce the chances?
Access to your home needs to have an even surface or ramp to allow for a wheel chair or walker. Take into consideration widening of doors to allow for access, which may also involve the moving of light switches.
Remove trip hazards, such as rugs and loose carpeting. Clear clutter, and provide rubber backed bathmats to avoid slipping. If the access to your home has an incline or decline, add non-slips to the floor to provide added grip. Tip – scuff the surface for a free alternative.Install rails from the entrance gate to the house door to provide the stability to help but still allowing them independence.
Providing adequate extra lighting allows you the extra moments to notice an obstacle or uneven surface in the way.
Additional extra lighting could even be sourced through natural lighting, by opening blinds early in the morning before your elderly family member is up and about.
However, a more effective method is to install motion-sensor lights, these can be installed both inside and out. Located near stairs, doors and entrances.
Aging parents still want to be as active as possible. You may be required to alter the height of work surfaces or sinks for easier reach and comfort.
Create a safe environment where they can still use kitchen appliances.
Make all regular appliances including making food cupboards easy to reach to avoid climbing on steps or chairs.
Plan to avoid having to bend and crouch into low cupboards, adjust heights accordingly.
To reduce the pressure on joints and allow your loved one to rest their legs, plan their seating with Pro Rider Mobility investing in a rise and recline chair. Swivel chairs are dangerous to those who are frail and have challenges with balance.
To assist with the stairs, consider an electric power lift along with adjustable beds for that additional support and comfort. A raised toilet seat in the bathroom along with a shower chair can make things much easier and safer got your family member, encouraging their independence for as long as possible.
There are so many choices, it is best to do your research and find exactly the type that fits your requirements and budget.
Ensure that the house has a smoke alarm and that the batteries are regularly tested.
Take advise with regards to other home safety alarm factors and be sure to have your alarm installed with a professional.
Automatic monitors whether it be a sensor or audio will ensure you are able to sleep peacefully at night, knowing all is well.
It would be advisable to remove locks on doors (eg, bathroom), to ensure that if there is a fall you are able to gain access easily. Regular maintenance on all equipment is essential for the safety of your family and should never be compromised.