When a senior expresses the desire to age in place, it’s rarely necessary for families to make major changes to their loved one’s homes. In many instances, however, there are a number of minor alterations that should occur to eliminate tripping hazards, increase ease of mobility, and make things more accessible. Following are a few low-cost upgrades, recommended by Home Care Assistance of West Bloomfield, that can make aging individuals feel more comfortable in their own environments.
For seniors, clutter can be more than piles of newspapers, clothing, and unused board games or other family and household items. As people age, it is important to keep spaces as wide open and free of debris as possible. Changes in gait, declining vision and longer reaction times make it harder for seniors to avoid trips and falls. This is also true of furnishings and decorative additions. Seniors should have a number of wide pathways through the home, with sufficient, sturdy furniture to hold onto when necessary. Non-essential items that block pathways should be removed.
Area rugs are a major trip and fall hazard and thus, these should either be removed or secured to the underlying floor surface with double-stick or rug tape. It is also important to mark the top and bottom stairs in multi-level homes so that seniors are easily able to determine when they have reached the landings. Placing a bright-colored piece of tape on the top and bottom steps will prevent falls or other accidents in these areas.
For seniors with Parkinson’s disease, opening doors with standard doorknobs can be challenging, particularly as PD symptoms increase. This is also true for seniors with arthritis. Homeowners can install lever-type handles on all interior doors instead. These require far less motor control to use and will help seniors maintain a sense of autonomy and security. Click here to learn more about Parkinson’s home care in West Bloomfield.
Grab bars and slip-proof mats are essential additions in the bathroom. Homeowners can also consider the addition of walk-in bathtubs. These allow seniors to continue handling this important aspect of self-care, without risking injury.
Accommodating Seniors with a Significant Decline in Mobility
For those with more money to spend and a greater range of needs to account for, there are a number of major home improvement projects that can make aging in place much easier for seniors. For instance, homeowners can opt to transition their bathrooms into wet rooms. These are wide, open spaces that have slip-proof, waterproof coatings on the floors and bottom portion of the walls. There is a central drain in the middle of the floor and the commode is elevated for ease of access. Shower heads are then positioned throughout the room along with grab bars and other assistive elements.
Stairlifts can also be essential in multi-level homes when seniors with extreme mobility challenges have opted to age in place. These transport seniors safely up and down the stairs. They ensure that aging adults retain the ability to access all areas of the home in spite of marked changes in mobility.
A final option is hourly or live-in home care in West Bloomfield. With home care from a reliable agency, your loved one can get the assistance he or she needs with daily activities, personal care, mediation reminders, transportation, and more. Call 248.283.0835 and learn more about the comprehensive senior care services from Home Care Assistance of West Bloomfield and schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.