If you have a senior who has expressed a desire to age in place – that is not to move into a nursing home, there are several different ways you can help them. First and foremost, you should support and respect their wishes to remain in their home and do what you can to help them realize that wish.
For instance, there are some home modifications you can do to help your seniors age in place more gracefully and easier. We contacted experts from Handyman Connection Fort Collins for recommendations on a few basic and a few more advanced house adaptations suitable for seniors.
Adapting the House for Walking Aids
As people grow older, most of them start needing certain walking aids. Whether it is a cane, or a walker, these instruments are really helpful to keep people mobile despite their age. In certain cases, seniors may even need to use the wheelchair. Supporting seniors in your life to stay mobile and active goes a bit further than just letting them know you support them.
Instead, there are certain adaptations you can make to their home which will help them navigate everyday life. First and foremost, if they have stairs in front of their home, consider installing a walking ramp. It will relieve some of the stress on their legs when coming into the house.
Inside the house, measure how wide the doors are. This is particularly important if your senior is in a wheelchair. Widening the doors in the rooms where they often move will help them move more easily and without concern that they might hit something. Naturally, if there are thresholds which would obstruct their movements, those need to be removed.
Adapting the Rooms
One of the most important things you need to do is ensure that your senior can continue with their regular life, even if they are not as youthful as they used to be. As they age, seniors may find that certain things in their homes aren’t in the optimal position for them – and you’re there to help them with that.
Kitchens are very often the first place that requires updates. For instance, your seniors may no longer be able to reach the high cabinets, so lowering them might be a great place to start. The same thing applies to fridges – the huge ones which are often 6 feet tall might be wasted, so consider downsizing this appliance to a more reasonable size for them.
Another room which will certainly require some adaptations is bathroom. A bathroom with a full bath is no longer an option for seniors – showers are preferred. If your seniors want to keep the bath, consider investing in a walk-in tub with a door for an easy access.
For seniors who have trouble walking, there are two more vital adaptations – railing so that they can hold themselves in place and a shower chair.
Adapting the Lifestyle
Finally, you need to accept that there will be some changes necessary to their lifestyle, as well as in yours. One of the best ways to ensure that they are okay is to have smart home features installed in their home, or even have them wear a medical bracelet or something like a FitBit.
This way, you can monitor that they are fine without the invasion of privacy such as installing video surveillance in their home. However, smart assistants such as Alexa or Siri can be a useful tool, helping them remember to take medication, call you in case of emergency, or any number of different things. Seeing how they are voice-activated, you won’t have to spend too much time instructing seniors how to use them.
We all want what is best for the seniors in our lives. All it takes is a bit of time and effort and you can help your seniors remain in their home and be safer there.