It is not easy to find the best cordless phones for seniors or the best alternatives when it comes to microwaves or home appliances, but with thorough research of the market and with certain important aspects in mind, you will definitely make a decision that you will not regret. There are various models out there and every single one of them promises to offer amazing results, and it is entirely up to you which one you decide to choose.
Besides proper phones that will make their life much easier, seniors also need to live in a home that meets all their needs. Unlike young and vigorous people, elders are not able to make too much physical effort and they are more prone to certain accidents. That is why the house they live in must be safe for their everyday activities.
So, if you were planning to bring your mom or dad to live with you, you should bear in mind that there are certain changes that you will need to do. In order to keep them in a safe environment, you have to make sure that you remodel your home so that it can be secure enough for seniors.
Doorways need to be widened
The main reason the doorways need to be wider than 32 inches is to ensure that the wheelchair or other mobility devices will fit through without any issues. So, if your doorways are narrower, you might want to look for a good contractor that will replace the existing frame and will add insulation, paint, and drywall.
It is not always the case, but the contractor might have to move and rewire light switches, too. So, you can easily do your own calculation based on the work that you think might need to be done. It is easy to imagine that if electrical work is involved, the cost will be a little higher. Also, if you have hallways, they will have to be widened, too.
After a wider door unit is installed, the floor will also have to be repaired – you will need the same flooring material because you want everything to look nice and classy. If you are lucky to find two experienced carpenters, they will be able to do the job in no more than 8 hours.
Floors need to be replaced with new ones that prevent slips
If you have hard stone floors, they can be very dangerous for seniors because they may slip and hurt themselves. That is why you must replace them with flooring that is made from a softer material because it will provide more traction and your elderly loved ones will be more protected. Vinyl and linoleum, for example, will attenuate the fall, hence they are safer for any senior.
Other materials that have also proven to be suitable for elders are bamboo and cork but they are a bit on the pricey side. If your budget doesn’t allow you to replace the flooring at the moment, it is recommended that you try to repair any damaged areas. Also, if you are aware of any uneven tiles, it is better to replace those right away as seniors can trip over them.
Rubber floors, besides being naturally slip-resistant, they are also super easy to clean and maintain. One of the most important aspects of these types of floors is that they are fire resistant so you don’t need to worry about fires when your parent is home alone.
Door knobs need to be changed
If it doesn’t affect us, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect our senior loved ones. There are multiple details that we need to pay attention to if we want to make sure that our mom or dad lives in a safe environment. Round door knobs, for example, can be more difficult to grip than the lever ones.
When we care for a senior we have to think about those things that are practical and make their lives much easier. No matter how much we like round door knobs, if lever ones are more comfortable for our elders, then we must try to accommodate our elders as best as we can.
If your senior parent has arthritis or other health conditions that limit motion, they will appreciate lever door knobs even more. Furthermore, you don’t need to worry that you will waste a huge amount of money to hire a handyman because this can be easily done by someone without any special knowledge or prior experience.
A wheelchair ramp is mandatory
Most seniors use wheelchairs to assist their mobility and to increase their safety at the same time. Another important aspect to bear in mind if your mom or dad is using a wheelchair is to make sure that the exterior door has a peephole or a small window that is installed at an accessible height.
If your existing door doesn’t feature one, and you decide to install it yourself, you need to be careful that it is not too close to the door handle due to security reasons. Or, you can install a video intercom that will allow your parents to see their visitors safely and comfortably.
Even if nobody in the family uses a wheelchair at the moment, a wheelchair ramp will still be of great help for many users. They will no longer have to climb the stairs, which can be a very painful and dangerous task for many elders.
Grab bars in bathrooms must be added
If you don’t have the budget to replace your tub with a walk-in one, it is a very good idea to add grab bars. Tubs can be super slippery when they are wet, and that is why the heavy metal bars will offer all the necessary protection for your elderly parent.
You can install grab bars in some other key places in the bathroom, too, not just the bathtubs or the shower stalls. The floors can become very slippery, as well, and in order to prevent your parent from falling, you can offer the much-needed support by adding a grab bar.
The good thing about this small addition to your existing bathroom is that it is not expensive at all. The metal bars can be easily found in most home improvements stores and they are very easy to install, too.