It’s devastating to see those sturdy arms now tremble while eating, brightening face fading away with wrinkles, strong legs now often losing out the balance while walking. However, it’s your turn to give your parents a carefree lifestyle and a home full of comfort.
Have you ever heard of an Elder-friendly home? Well, an elder-friendly home refers to a home well designed and equipped with various essential that would either prevent the elders from injuries or offer them great help eventually allowing them to continue living an independent life.
⁃ Grab Bar
Not sure about how to begin with it? I’ve got you covered. Here are some suggestions on-
How to convert a home into an elder-friendly one?
Improved floors and surfaces
Flooring options like polished ceramic, tiles and marble can be harmful to an elderly person because of their slippery surface, for an aged person, it becomes inevitable to maintain balance at all time. To avoid slips, trips and falls-
- Make use of more and more rugs and carpets in the most commonly used areas like entryways
- Vinyl flooring can also be a great option
The Right Lighting
Ageing eyes don’t always work as they once did, they deteriorate day by day leading seniors at home to misjudge or trip due to poor lighting especially in the corner areas of the home. So, quickly-
- Fix the burnt-out light bulbs immediately
- Install multiple lights around the house for the best effects and uniformity wherever possible
- Install motion detection lighting inside and outside the home.
- Cross-check the lightings around the house by standing in one corner of a room and looking across the room. Can you see a clear path? If not, brighten things up with more lights
A Safe Bathroom
A bathroom is one of the most dangerous areas for the elderly, it’s that space of the house where the majority of the accidents happen. Burns and falls often occur here.
- Have adjustable shower heads
- Ensure sink height to be low with knee clearance
- Fix grab bars close to the toilet
- Install anti-slip floors to minimize accidents as bathrooms floors are extremely slippery and dangerous.
- Set the thermostat on the water heater no higher than 120° F to prevent accidental burns.
- Replace the original toilet seat with a raised toilet seat. Toilets should be between 17 and 19 inches in height. Seniors will find it easier to sit and stand.
- Install a nightlight in the bathroom. This will help seniors who may make repeated trips to the bathroom overnight
A User-friendly Kitchen
Instead of banning your mom’s entry in her older days to avoid chaos or hurts, ensure each and everything placed in the kitchen can easily be accessed by them
- Install a raised dishwasher
- Lowering cooking surfaces
- Have a wall oven or microwave at reachable heights
- Making sure there’s an abundance of storage space within reach
- Providing a desk/work area with knee clearance
- Have kitchen appliances that come with easy-to-read controls and simple push-button interfaces.
- Roll out trays can add to the accessibility of pantry items.
- Replace standard “twist and turn” kitchen water faucet handles with “single-lever” handles instead. Seniors can find these far easier to use.
- Switch to glass cabinet doors so that your loved one can identify items effortlessly.
- Use lazy Susan and roll-out trays for easy accessibility
A Secured House
Let your absence not worry your parents who are home alone when you’re off for work by securing the house with all possible actions.
- Install a smart video doorbell, security cameras, smoke alarms and burglary alarms. Let these tech gadgets be responsible for taking care of your parents
- Have safety bars on windows
- Cover the balcony with grills
- Super comfortable Bedrooms
- A bedroom is where the most comfort lies and so you cannot go wrong with this one.
- Replace a sagging, softer mattress with a firmer one. This will be far more comfortable, provide more support, and not trap a resting senior.
- Switches should not be at ground level, but at a height which they can reach from a wheelchair or when they stand up.
- Low beds are a no-no as they are difficult to get up from.
- Have a side table placed right next to the bed for the elderly to arrange their daily necessities like water bottle, alarm clocks
- Keep a comfortable chair near the window so that they can enjoy the outside view
Until now, I have been briefing you about the major spaces of your home and the changes required, now, here are few other minor things that you need to consider
- De-clutter the excess, the lesser you have, the better it is. Skip having extra chairs, unnecessary appliances, focus on ensuring more and more space for the elderly to walk around the house freely
- If you have a staircase at home, install rails on both sides of the stairs.
- Furniture with sharp edges and corners should be avoided, and chairs should be sturdy and properly balanced.
- Replace Doorknobs with Lever Style Handles. Levers are easier to open than knobs that keep twisting.
- If wheelchair access is a priority, then you should have wider doors and clear passageways in every room.
Now that you are well aware of how to make a house, elder-friendly one, let me introduce you to some of the-
Must-Have Elderly Care Products at Home
Cane Seat (2-in-1 Walking stick & chair)
Be it within the house or outdoors, you will no longer have to rush to get a chair every time the elderly at home feels tired, all thanks to this amazing 2-in-1 aid. As a stick, it will offer great support and balance and can also be used as a steady chair to rest when tired walking or exercising
Recommended: Smart Care Strong and Durable Walking Stick
You certainly don’t want your elders to ever miss out on their medications as it might directly impact their health, right?!! You can indeed take the responsibility of serving them the medicines but for how long? What if you miss out on any? Therefore, it’s best to rely on an automatic pill dispenser. All you have to do is buy months’ worth of pills and store them in the pill dispenser and set the time for taking the pills. On the pre-set time, it’ll trigger the alarm to notify to take the pills.
Recommended: MedCenter 31 Day Pill Organizer with Reminder System
You might have tons of gadgets to keep yourself entertained but what about the elderly grandparents at home?! Gift them the caravan speakers pre-loaded with 1000s of songs from their younger days bringing back the nostalgia.
Recommended: Saregama Carvaan 2.0
Falling on stairs or slipping in bathrooms are the common injuries that elders go through, trust me, be it internal or external injury, neither of them is good for them and so, it’s best to take precautions. With grab bars installed, you will not have to worry about it any longer as they will have something to grab onto in case of a slip or fall. Place grab bars at staircases and bathrooms, those are the most dangerous areas for elders.
Recommended: Fortune Stainless Steel Grab Bar
It’s ok if your parents or grandparents cannot go to the gym, but there’s no excuse to neglect fitness. If they cannot frequently go to the parks or gym to maintain their fitness, then, you can get the equipment at home for them. With a pedal exerciser, you can let the seniors at home enjoy the fun of bike riding without having to take the risks of falling
Recommended: Shopyhome Gym Cycle
Smart Video Doorbell
What if someone barges the door when your aged parents are home alone? An unimaginable situation, right? Therefore, pay close attention to the security of your parents. Smart doorbells can be of great help!! Smart video doorbells will enable them with the option to see the person knocking at the door if they find something suspicious, they can choose not to open it by saying no to them.
Recommended: Qubo Smart Video Doorbell
What’s comfortable to you might not be comfortable for your grandparents. With a weak body, they would be suffering from various pains like back pain, knee pain and whatnot. Couches and sofas might not fully be comfortable to them. With an adjustable recliner, you can ensure your grandparents or parents are having a great time when sipping a cup of tea or reading the newspaper
Recommended: Furlay Recliner Chair
Electric Massager is more like a boon to elderly people. With age, certain ailments catch the body, the majority of elderly people suffer from several types of ailment some even last forever. And muscle pain is one of those common ailments that every senior suffers. But all of these can be tackled by using an electric full body massager. This health gadget provides significant results if used correctly.
Recommended: Lifelong Back and Body Massager
Bending over gets harder and harder as one gets older. Grabbing tool can make picking up the random sock on the floor or other tasks so much easier by allowing to grab something off the ground without having to bend over. This is not only easier on joints but can help seniors avoid risky falls.
Recommended: Meetzone Foldable Reacher
Adjustable Bed Back Rest
If your parents or grandparents tend to spend a majority of their time in bed mainly due to some illness then having an adjustable bed backrest is a must for not adding up any other health issues. An adjustable bed backrest is super comfortable when sitting up in bed to read, eat or drink
Recommended: OM Adjustable Bed Back Rest
For elders, this one is surely a lifesaver in certain situations. If their feet by chance slips by stepping on an ordinary bathroom floor mat, anything can happen, either minor or major injury due to a fall. However, with any skid mat placed at the doors, there are low chances of something like that occurring. Consider replacing the mats with the anti-skid ones where elders frequently walks around
Recommended: Saral Anti-skid mat
Magnifier Desk Lamp
If your dad love to read, failing eyes can be almost as depressing as being unable to walk. No matter how good an audiobook is, it simply can’t match the feeling of pages between the fingers. Fortunately, I have a solution, it’s the magnifier desk lamps that can turn tiny print into a much more readable size, quite impressive right?!!
Recommended: SCHOFIC 10W Portable Magnifier Desk Lamp
There are certain things that no adults want to do and asking for help in dressing up is one of them. So why not make things easier for them with a dressing stick, this thing would be of great help. From bending and reaching, putting on and pulling off, this will surely make dressing easier
Recommended: Sammons Dressing Stick
Usually, seniors find it difficult to climb up the stairs. If your house has stairs and your parents go through a hard time while climbing stairs, then you can consider installing a stairlift, a mechanical device with a chair or a lifting platform that moves along a rail that’s mounted on the treads.
Recommended: KosmoCare Rider Automatic Reclining Wheelchair
A bedside table could be more like an organizer having the much-needed items like medications, water, a clock and such at just an arms distance. With a bedside table, your parents will not have to make trips, again and again, to get their hands on such necessities. Look for an aesthetically appealing one, this will enhance the interiors of the room, making it more lively
Recommended: Vivek Teak Wood Bed Side Table
Follow this guide and do the considerate changes, making the seniors in your home comfortable and lead happy lives even as they age.