In the last 120 years, the global human life expectancy has doubled. One of the driving forces behind the growth is health advancements that are helping the oldest members of society live longer. The oldest segment of the population (85 and older) is now growing at a faster rate than all other age groups.
This means more people in their golden years are going to be helping their aging parents. They’ll also be doing so for more years. The silver lining is that many elderly people can remain in their home with a few modifications.
Consider a Home Elevator or Stair Lift
If mom or dad refuses to move out of their two-story house and all the bedrooms are upstairs you have two options: a home elevator or a stair lift. Both options are actually very practical for two-story residences. New designs allow for installation within the existing structure, which keeps the costs relatively low.
Falls are the number one reason elderly people visit the emergency room. A lot of the danger is removed by eliminating the need to walk up and down the stairs. You can learn more about stair lifts and home elevator designs at https://www.easyclimber.com/home-elevator/.
Put Handrails in the Right Places
One of the simplest and most effective solutions for improving safety is to install handrails around your parent’s home. Handrails, also called grab bars, provide support and help seniors steady themselves. They can also help guide in low-light situations.
Places where you may want to consider adding grab bars include around the kitchen, along hallways leading to their bedroom, their bathroom inside and outside of the tub, toilets in the home, and the sides of their bed.
It’s also a good idea to test the existing handrails around the home. If the handrail wobbles or visible damage is present, get it repaired as soon as you can.
Install a Walk-in Tub
It’s easy to argue that the tub is the most dangerous place in a home for the elderly. The slippery surface paired with the foot and a half tall side you have to get over is an accident waiting to happen.
The surefire solution is to install a walk-in tub. These tubs have a watertight panel on the side that swings open. Your parent can simply step inside and close the door behind them.
Bathroom accessories for the elderly can enhance safety no matter what type of tub you have. Non-slip mats both inside and outside of the tub also reduce the possibility of a fall.
Switch to Remote Control Lights
An inescapable problem that comes with age is poor eyesight. Even people who had 20/20 vision most of their life will find things aren’t as sharp as they used to be once they reach a certain age. Add low lighting on top of that and it can cause a bad fall.
Remote controlled lights are an easy way to reduce your parents’ need to shuffle around in the dark. You’ve probably heard of clap-on clap-off lights. Today there are also remote control lighting kits that are easy to install. If your parent is tech savvy, all you need is a few smart bulbs and a mobile device for them to control the lights from anywhere.
Motion sensor lighting is another great option for hallways and bathrooms. Nightlights that automatically turn on when it’s dark are another good investment.
Equip the House With Home Automation
Home automation can make any home safer and more accessible with just a few devices. Equipping the home with Wi-Fi and the right home automation tools also makes it possible to monitor your parent’s home from anywhere.
The Wi-Fi capable light bulbs mentioned above are just one way home automation is making home life safer and more convenient for the elderly. But that’s just scratching the surface of what’s possible with home automation.
Every day new technologies and products are coming out that expand the possibilities of home automation, and the elderly are a key segment. Some design experts are predicting that soon automatic doors, Wi-Fi connected appliances and video intercoms that sync with phones will be a standard part of aging in place design.
Each home and person is unique, which is why you’ll need to carefully consider which modifications should take priority. The suggestions above are best practices that can help get the process started.
Article Submitted By Community Writer