How to Help Adapt Your Parents Home as They Age

 

Senior citizens are living longer than ever before. According to Aging in Place, 90% of seniors over age 65 want to live in their homes as long as possible, and 80% believe they will live out their remaining years inside their homes. It’s not hard to understand why one would want to live out their lives inside a home filled with nostalgia. But, there are some measures that should be taken to ensure your parent’s can live alone, safely. 

Many seniors are very adamant about aging in place and living independently. It may be hard to have complete confidence in your parent’s safety inside their home. Here is how to help adapt your parent’s home as they age.

Remove all tripping hazards

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common injury for seniors over the age of 65 comes from falling. A senior taking a fall can be detrimental to the body and can be fatal at times. Many falls happen inside the home. Luckily, there are ways to help make your parents’ home fall-proof.

You should first remove all rugs throughout the home. Although they might be cute and decorative, it is a top fall hazard inside the house. Ensuring all walk-through spaces are decluttered and tidy is essential. Loose cords, paper, books, and clothing are prime factors in causing one to fall.

Having a more open environment can make it easier for either of your parents to walk through, especially if they use a walker or cane. Remind your parents not to rush to the door or phone, as many seniors experience a fall whenever this happens.  

Bathroom safety

Ensuring your parent’s bathroom safety is another critical factor to adapt inside the home. The bathroom can be the most dangerous room inside the house, considering many falls take place there.

Getting in and out of the shower can be challenging as a senior. Therefore, it’s recommended to install grab bars inside the shower and beside the toilet for assistance. A rubber mat inside the bathtub is also an excellent option to help make the tub slip-resistant whenever standing.  

One thing seniors don’t typically want help with but could use assistance with is showering. No senior wants help bathing, and luckily, some ways allow them to do this independently. A bathroom chair with a backrest is excellent for the bathroom, as it acts as a safety precaution and can help your parents shower without exhaustion.

If you were to install a bathroom chair, you would also want to consider a handheld showerhead. This inexpensive add-on will be an excellent convenience for your parents while allowing them to shower comfortably.  

Make emergency numbers handy

Whenever adapting your parents’ home to be senior-friendly, you should update them on their technology. If your parent has a cell phone that they are not familiar with, you should either purchase them an easy-to-use phone or teach them how to use their current one. You can create them a 101 guide to help them navigate their device.

Go ahead and install every phone number your parents will need on their phones, as well as leave emergency numbers handy for them around their house. On a sheet of paper, list important emergency numbers such as:

  • 911
  • Their healthcare provider
  • Name and number of neighbor
  • Emergency contacts (family and friends)
  • Poison control: 1-800-222-1222

You should have this list laminated in their bedroom, on the fridge, and by their front door.

Visit often

Lastly, visiting your parents often is a great way to help adapt your parents’ home. Seeing your parents is an easy way to keep up with their day-to-day lives, as well as check on their health and contentment. If your parents suffer from any health condition or disorder, you will want to be in close contact with them to ensure nothing has changed that their doctor should be aware of.

Visiting your parents while they adapt inside their home is a great way to spark nostalgia and bring back positive memories for them. It’s common for seniors to experience depression and loneliness in their golden years. Whenever you visit them, it will help them avoid social isolation and feelings of loneliness. Remind your loved ones they are not alone, and they are a valuable member of the family!

This is a new stage of life for your parents, and their golden years should be spent stress-free. Consider these ways to help adapt your parent’s home as they age, and you can ensure their safety inside their home while they live out a great retirement.