Do your parents want to age in a place they are comfortable? Have they expressed the desire to live in their own home as they reach their senior years?
The aging process is tough no matter where you live so, it makes sense that many seniors want to stay in the comfort of their own home. However, many times the home modifications required to make living at home comfortably possible are quite expensive. We have created a list here to help you make small modifications that aren’t too pricey to help your senior family members live a more relaxed and healthy life at home.
Modified Doors: & Door Knobs
Many doors are too small for walkers or wheelchairs. The doorways can be widened to accommodate these items and make it easier for seniors to navigate in their homes. Also, be aware of door sills – and the idea that they may need to be removed to help seniors move through the area with greater ease.
Door knobs can be a struggle for those with arthritic hands. To create a greater ease of use for seniors living at home try using lever-handled openers. The latches are only about $20 for a set of 2. Don’t forget about closet doors too.
Add Extra Lighting:
Extra lighting is necessary for most seniors to complete every day tasks. Ensure lighting is sufficient for the household. Check stairways, kitchen areas, and even consider adding additional free standing lights.
Bathroom Amenities: Tubs, Toilets, Faucets & Sinks
This is the spot where slips and falls occur most often for senior citizens. For this room, you may want to hire a contractor. One bathroom on the main floor should probably have full wheelchair and walker accessibility. If widening a door isn’t enough – you could put in an accessible bathtub or toilet.
Try upgrading to a single-handed flip-up faucet or even one that you can just touch or wave your hand under for a quick turn on.
Sinks may be inaccessible to anyone in a wheelchair. We would recommend using a wall-mounted sink – if you choose to do this, be sure to make sure the pipes aren’t too completely exposed or your family could end up with some bruised and battered knees.
Grab Bars and Handrails: These two things are really important for seniors. Limbs can be unsteady. Be sure to install handrails, safety bars and any other hand holds that may be needed. These items can be pretty inexpensive as well – so they are not only affordable, but extremely helpful.
Shower heads are all about the same price. So, installing a hand-held shower head is not only easy, but also inexpensive. Make sure you also grab a rod that allows the user to adjust the height to make it easy to stand or sit.
You may want to also install a walk-in shower. Be sure to make sure the shower is slightly sloped so that water doesn’t end up on the floor, and additionally, you may want to install a bench or chair.
Flooring: You may want to add either a non-slip floor or a non-slip mat to the floor – especially if you have a porcelain or marble floor in your bathroom.
Kitchen Amenities: Stove and Cabinet Helps
Stove: This one may depend strictly on the person using the kitchen. If the senior is comfortable with a regular stove top, you may not need to replace it. However, experts recommend using an induction stove top for most seniors as they only heat the plate you are cooking on. Additionally, there are some stoves now that will allow them to be on for only a certain amount of time to avoid cooking fires.
Pull out Cabinets: Another great option for seniors living at home. This helps pull the items within reach so that no falls or breaks or any other accidents occur, or at least do not occur as frequently.
Colored Duct Tape: This can help in lots of situations in which lines may start to blur, but one spot in particular that would be very helpful to have colored duct tape is on counter top edges. If seniors can see these spots, they are less likely to run into them.
Of course, not all of these fixes are easy or cheap, but they will help make home life easier for the elderly. Whether they are your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles or even just a neighbor who has asked for your help, these tips and tricks can can help you and your loved ones feel more comfortable with the aging process, and allow them to continue living the life they want in the home they love.