Not every senior citizen wants to move into a retirement home. Some of them want to stay in place and live in their own house, where they have been for decades. It is suitable for their state of mind since it gives them a feeling of independence. But the reality of aging doesn’t make this easy. If a loved one wants to stay, you’ll need to make some changes so that they can stay safe and comfortable. Here are some potential home improvements that are worth the investment.
Make Moving Around Easier
One issue that older people have is that it is getting more challenging to move around. It would be best if you made changes in the house that should accommodate this. One big change is to make wider doorways. If your loved one uses a walker or even in a wheelchair, the larger space allows for better movement. Even if they are not using one currently, it is a good idea to prepare for that time. The optimal width is 36 inches, and the hinges should be in the swing-clear style so that the entire space is in use.
Additionally, it would help if you also considered accessibility options like ramps. These are much better than stairs for the elderly, especially if they are at a comfortable incline. Besides that, if a wheelchair becomes necessary, you don’t need to make the upgrade suddenly.
It would be best if you also considered installing better lighting. This may not seem like it affects people’s movement, but if they can see better, they won’t be stumbling around the various rooms of the house.
Senior-proof The Kitchen
Seniors like to feel that they can take care of themselves, and one sign of independence is able to cook for yourself. But as people grow older, it can become more difficult. Some quality-of-life changes make it easier to cook. One of these is to add touchless faucets. These are perfect for those with arthritis and grip issues.
Additionally, it would be best if you changed out the stove to be more comfortable for cooking. This includes brighter controls and positioned in the front of the stove. This ensures that anyone cooking is safe. You should also buy an easily-usable fire extinguisher so that if a fire happens, they can quickly respond.
Everything should also be at a comfortable height. This is usually at a height where they can sit down. This helps older people shouldn’t be standing for so long.
A Better Bathroom
Bathing is also an important part of living independently. Some homes need a big upgrade in their bathroom for the elderly. A bathtub is not the best for seniors since there is a higher risk of accidents in them. You should work with a plumber to install a shower. These are better for older people, especially those that have hand-held showerheads. In the shower stall, you should also consider installing a seat so that bathers can sit down for their bath. You should also reinforce the walls and install some grab bars so people can avoid slipping.
Older people are very vulnerable to the cold. You need to ensure that they have sufficient heating in their home. Several improvements can help with that. First, you can have a bathroom heating lamp. Infrared light bulbs in the bathroom can help seniors fight off the chill better. Another nice change would be heated floors. This helps those who like to walk barefoot. You can also install carpeting. Finally, another heating update would be to have a programmable thermostat. This ensures that temperature is easy to control, and there is no need to remember about changing the settings during sleeping time.
Going High Tech
The elderly will love some technological upgrades to their home. For example, clappers are very popular since instead of groping around for the light switch, they can clap to turn on the lights. Additionally, voice-activated devices are a big help to the elderly. Amazon Echo and similar devices simplify a lot of day-to-day life. This includes medication reminders, easy calling, and even order grocery deliveries. Besides that, there are smart monitoring devices that help with people’s health. You can check up on your loved one’s condition no matter where you are. They can also contact emergency services when necessary. Having that available can give people a lot of peace of mind.
Living an independent life is still possible for the elderly. They need a bit of help, and that is what these upgrades can give. Combine it with regular visits to check up on them, and you can be sure that they will be safe and happy in their own home.