People now live longer and thus require more care as they age. Also, there is a significant number of people who are choosing to age at home instead of in senior residences or senior care facilities. While doing so has several benefits, it is also important to ensure the home is as safe as possible for a loved one who decides to age in place.
Ensure adequate lighting
Age-related visual impairment affects different people to different degrees. Regardless, a well-lit home is necessary for your loved one’s safety. It is best to examine the home during the day and during the night to determine where light is needed. The areas that require more light are those that prevent tripping, slipping or falling hazards, such as at the top and bottom of the staircase.
Assistance lights such as those from the bedroom and the bathroom, inside the cabinets, and above worktops are also incredibly useful. It is also a good idea to consider motion-sensing lights for hallways and doorways, so the light comes on automatically when a loved one decides to access these parts of the house.
Design for fall prevention
Falls are a major cause of injuries for seniors, causing millions of injuries and thousands of fatalities each year. Simple, inexpensive adjustments can make a home much safer for seniors by reducing the risk of falls.
The first thing to do is ensure you set aside a designated area for their pet if they own one.
The second is to make floor transitions as smooth as possible. This means ensuring where the surface changes, such as from a carpet to a hardwood floor and vice versa, doesn’t present a tripping hazard. Clearing all electrical cords is also another way of preventing falls, especially for seniors who use walkers and other walking assistance devices.
Another way is using sensors to let you know if a loved one has gotten off the bed or a chair. This is an option for loved ones who wander a lot. Being notified like this allows you to come and provide the assistance they need. These devices are an inexpensive option that you can find online when shopping for care home supplies UK, and they can keep a loved one safe and help avoid hospital visits.
Improve bathroom safety
The wet surfaces in the bathroom present additional hazards that you should be aware of and prevent. The first design modification to make is installing handle or grab bars in key areas, typically near the bathtub, shower, or toilet. Non-skid bath mats, a shower seat, and a handheld shower are also great additions to consider.
If you decide to remodel the bathroom, do so with your loved one’s future needs in mind. For example, your loved one might need to use a wheelchair in the future, so they will need a wheelchair-accessible bathroom if that happens.
Also, removing a curb close to the shower, if the bathroom has one, can make it much more accessible.
You need to ensure the home is as safe as possible if a loved one chooses to age in place. You or a contractor will need to make a few changes to the home, with how extensive the changes are depending on the present and future needs of your loved one.