How to Help Seniors Aging at Home?
The goal for most seniors is to age at home. However, the home of your dreams in your lively thirties doesn’t always translate into the home you need as you slow down in your eighties.
To help make aging in place a reality for your loved one, you can make easy adjustments to their home. The best part: these adjustments don’t include major changes in construction or a large lump sum of money. Instead, you can make adjustments to your seniors home to make each area as safe, secure, and livable as possible.
Bathroom Independent Living for Seniors:
Bathrooms can be one of the most difficult rooms to navigate as you age impacting the independent living for seniors. With the high risk of slipping, making changes to the bathroom are imperative. Some modifications to a bathroom can be costly, like installing a wider tub or increasing the size of the bathroom itself. However, there are cheaper alternatives to make your bathroom senior-friendly.
Changes to make the bathroom more senior-friendly are listed below.
- Get a shower chair. This can be a cost effective way to avoid falling in the shower. It also allows your aging loved one to shower at their own pace. A few options to take a look at can be found here.
- Get a transfer benches for shower/tub. If your loved one is in a wheelchair, a transfer bench will make moving from a wheelchair into the tub easier. Check out a comparison for some of the best transfer benches to help find one that is best for you here.
- Install a safety rail or grab bar. To help your loved one with getting in and out of the tub, install a safety rail or grab bar. Your senior loved one can use these safety rails or grab bars as support when bathing. Add safety rails to the shower, around the toilet, or any place where your loved one may need some extra support. Install safety rails at a height that is appropriate for your loved one’s needs.
- Add a nonslip mats. The bathroom floor, usually an already slippery surface, can easily become more dangerous with water spills from the sink or shower. To make the bathroom as safe as possible, add nonslip mats to the surface in and around the bathtub or shower.
- Add an elevated toilet seat. If getting on and off the toilet seat is a struggle for your loved one, adding an elevated toilet seat helps getting onto the toilet easier.
- Install a handheld shower head. Add a handheld shower head to the bathroom to make bathing easier for seniors.
Kitchen Independent Living for Seniors:
Another room that presents some challenges for Seniors Aging at Home is the kitchen. Remodeling a kitchen, much like a bathroom, can be expensive. However, a few changes can make the kitchen an easy place to navigate for your senior loved one.
Changes to make the kitchen more senior-friendly are listed below.
- Add a stool. This can be a great asset for seniors who wanting to still cook but cannot stand long. A stool or high chair can help seniors sit while they prep and cook food.
- Install lever handles to doors, cabinets, and faucets. To make opening doors and cabinets easier, install lever handles to doors and cabinets. To make turning on water easier, install lever faucets.
- Get a side by side refrigerator. While new appliances are costly, getting a side by side refrigerator allows seniors to access food easier without having to bend down. If getting a new appliance can fit into the budget, this is a great modification to the home for your senior.
Most time spent in the home occurs in the bedroom and other living areas, so it’s very important to keep these areas as safe and senior-friendly as possible.
Changes to make the living areas more senior-friendly are listed below.
- Clear pathways. To prevent tripping, arrange all furniture in a way that does not block doorways or pathways.
- Tuck cords away. Tuck any electronic cord away or alongside walls to also help prevent tripping.
- Install a chair lift or secure handrails. If your loved one’s home has stairs, installing a chair lift can make maneuvering the stairs simple. If a chair lift is too costly, installing secure handrails on both sides of the steps can help with balancing and walking up and down the stairs.
- Keep the telephone close. Making sure the telephone is easily accessible from any room or having a cell phone, will ensure that if your loved one ever needs help or is in an emergency, they will be able to contact someone.
- Install an easy to read thermostat. This will make adjusting the temperature in their home easier and avoid any accidental mishaps from misreading or pressing the wrong buttons.
Entrance ways Independent Living for Seniors:
Getting into the home can be a major challenge as mobility changes with increasing age. A few simple changes can help your loved one enter their home with as much ease as possible.
Changes to make the entrance ways more senior-friendly are listed below.
- Add a ramp or railing to outdoor decks or patios. The safest bet would be to install a ramp to their home to ensure they can safely access entrance ways. However, if you do not have a flat surface entryway or it is too costly to install a ramp, railing will make entering the home easier.
- Place a bench or table next to the entrance. This will allow your loved one to place any items on the bench or table, so that they can easily enter their home without having to balance items and their keys.
Lights Independent Living for Seniors:
As the aging process occurs, vision usually starts to decline. To help seniors adjust to declines in vision and to help them better get around their home, make changes to the lighting around their home.
Changes to lighting to make home more senior-friendly are listed below.
- Replace bulbs in laps with highest wattage possible. This will help the senior in your life with visibility issues and hopefully prevent falls. You should take special care with hallways and stairways. These areas are more likely to be dimmer than the rest of the home, so bright lighting in these areas are important.
- Add light sensors to front/back porches. This will ensure that anytime the senior comes home, they will be able to see and avoid any accidents that could come from decreased vision.
- Keep flashlights in every room. In the case of a power outage, keep flashlights in every room. This way, your loved one can remain mobile even when electricity is out.
- Keep night lights in hallways. This will ensure that no matter what time of day, your aging loved one will be able to navigate around their home.
Floors Independent Living for Seniors:
A huge safety hazard many seniors face is flooring in their home. Adjustments to flooring in the home can make the difference between a life-altering bad fall and the ability to complete daily tasks in the home.
Changes to flooring to make home more senior-friendly are listed below.
- Make floors as nonslip as possible. Adding secure area rugs, nonslip mats, and carpeting wherever possible can help your loved one walk around the house without the risk of tripping.
- Secure rugs to the floor with double sided tape. Rugs act as tripping hazards, so secure placement of rugs with double sided tape to help protect against falls.
- Carpet stairs or have nonslip covering. Falling down the stairs as a senior has drastic consequences. Making your stairs as nonslip as possible, whether with carpet or nonslip covering, can help prevent falls. In the event that a fall does happen, carpeting can help cushion the fall and cover sharp edges of stairs.
If you have any questions about seniors aging at home, contact us today at At Home Senior Services! Oftentimes, even with changes to the home, seniors still need a little extra help with daily activities around the home. One way to help the senior in your life who needs some help aging in place is to hire a caregiver.