Make Life Easier For Your Senior Parents With These Home Modifications

Make Life Easier For Your Senior Parents With These Home Modifications

Senior assisted or aging in pace as it is more commonly known these days, is part of a growing trend whereby the elderly live in their homes rather than nursing homes.

This is beneficial not least because it affords the dignity to live out the rest of their lives in the environment that they love. Nevertheless, as people age, they are inevitably unable to move the ways they used to.

Therefore, some modifications are required to allow them to live more comfortably.

What Are The Benefits Of Aging In Place?

Aging at home has many benefits over moving into a nursing home. Apart from the psychological benefits, there are physical advantages that arise from living everyday life.

Some advantages include:

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It’s cheaper:

The cost of care homes is exorbitantly high, and many are either unable or unwilling to pay for it. Furthermore, many seniors don’t want to waste the inheritance they can pass on to their children on something they often don’t want.

Better quality of life:

Living at home can improve their quality of life enormously. This is because they still need to move around and not rely on others to look after them. It has been proven that older people begin to decline in health far sooner in a care home than in their own homes.

Familiarity:

There is a comfort in understanding, and scenario citizens can maintain this by staying at home. Additionally, it can help to stave off dementia by being in a recognizable environment.

Closer to friends:

It is likely that they will have friends nearby or at least neighbors they know. This is great because it means there are people who can look out for them.

Maintain independence:

Seniors often don’t receive the respect they deserve, but by allowing them to make their own choices, you give them the dignity that comes from independence.

elderly couple at home

How To Make Life Easier At Home?

While all of those points are true, it is still almost certain that they will need some form of assistance to carry on with their day-to-day routines. Fortunately, there are plenty of additions and modifications that you can make to their homes that will assist them.

Lift Systems

The most common modification is a lift. The option that first springs to mind are stairlifts that attach to a rail system along the side of the stairs and allows elderly people to get to the stairs with ease.

They typically sit in a seat that slowly rises. However, the main drawback to the traditional stairlift is that it is slow, doesn’t accommodate those with special equipment, and can be dangerous if they fall off (not to mention the difficulty in getting in and out).

As a result, the home modification specialists over at www.stiltzlifts.co.za recommend using a fully-featured lift instead. These lifts are specially designed to have a small footprint that fits inside most homes but still acts like a regular lift.

The main advantage these have over the stairlift varieties is that they are far safer, and anyone who uses additional devices like crutches or walking sticks, etc., can get upstairs with ease.

Widen The Doorways

One of the more straightforward and useful modifications that you can make is widening the doors. You will allow more space for seniors who use wheelchairs or walkers to get through.

Additionally, the extra space makes it easier to walk through to the next room without bumping into the doors if off-balance.

elderly couple gardening

Bathroom Modifications

Bathing on your own is vital to maintain dignity. Nobody wants to reach the stage where they need to be washed by someone else. Unfortunately, this is often the case with the elderly or infirm because bathroom fixtures are typically made with able-bodied people in mind. This results in showers that are too slippery and bathtubs that are challenging to enter and exit.

Luckily, there are changes you can make which will make life easier and include:

  • Replacing the bathtub with one that has a door entry system.
  • Changing the flooring to non-slip materials.
  • Adding in more handrails.
  • Having light switches on cords that they can reach.
  • Putting in a medical alert system (more on that later).
  • Creating a temperature regulation system.
  • Placing a shower chair inside the shower stall.

You can research other options if you wish, but these are the basics you can have installed immediately.

Strategically Located Ramps

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Stairs are generally considered a bad idea for people who might be a bit unsteady on their feet. For the same reason that you install a lift in your home to negate the stairs, you might also require ramps to replace any existing stairs.

For example, if their home has a porch with steps up, you can keep the steps but perhaps change half of it to a ramp. If you go this route, ensure that you have made it slip-proof otherwise, there is no point.

Furthermore, if they rely on wheelchairs indoors, you will need to make allowances for every location that has a step. This means going around the entire house with each other and looking for potential sites that may not be accessible to a wheelchair.

Even if they are not in a wheelchair, any small steps can result in dangerous tripping, so ensure you go through the entire house as thoroughly as possible.

Medical Alert Systems

These devices essentially yellow them to alert people of an emergency. Many devices will have emergency buttons installed around the house as well as around their neck. They work by the senior citizen pressing the button to alert the company.

For example, if they trip over and cannot move, they can press this button which will go through to a dispatch center who will call an ambulance, alert their family and stay on the line with them to comfort them.

It would help if you considered placing them in areas where they are prone to accidents, such as the bathroom, kitchen, garden, etc., and having one around their neck.

With aging in place increasing in popularity due to the numerous advantages, it also brings up other issues, such as deciding how to modify the house. Luckily, you can use plenty of techniques, from house lifts to emergency alert systems, which are generally more affordable than care homes.

Russell Jones

VP of Operations @ Phyxter and Home Improvement Specialist

About our blog

Phyxter (pronounced Fix-ter) is a national home services brand specializing in Residential HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing solutions.

Phyxter is laser-focused on writing the best articles and guides to empower homeowners to get the best out of their homes.

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