Home caregiving can help seniors to remain safely in their homes for as long as possible, but many houses weren’t arranged with senior care in mind. Mobility issues, equipment like wheelchairs and rollators, and navigating the bathroom can all be a challenge depending on how a house is set up.
However, there are some modifications that you can make to create the ease and safety of senior care.
Important Senior Care Home Modifications to Make
In order to improve the safety of your loved one’s house and make caregiving easier, take a walk through the house and consider the following suggestions.
How well-lit is the senior’s home? Adding lighting can make caregiving more efficient and easier, but it’s also an important safety feature for seniors. Poorly lit rooms can be difficult to safely navigate, especially if a senior’s eyesight or balance declines. Invest in additional lamps and brighter bulbs to ensure that every room has adequate lighting.
Consider investing in an adjustable bed for your loved one. Adjustable beds are versatile, and you can change their height depending on the needs at the time. If a senior is trying to get up out of bed, having a bed at the appropriate height makes the task easier – a bed that’s too high or too low makes this task both difficult and potentially dangerous. If a senior is at risk of falling out of bed, positioning the bed at a lower height helps to increase safety, though you should also add bedrails for increased safety.
If you’ve ever tried to get up out of a soft, super squishy couch, then you know how challenging this feat can be. Seniors experience the same challenge, and if they have furniture that’s too soft, they may have difficulty getting up safely.
Invest in some firmer furniture (though make sure that it’s still comfortable) to make it easier for your loved one to get up again. You may also want to consider buying a lift chair. Lift chairs are electrically powered and a senior can use a remote control to set the chair to gently tilt forward when they’re ready to get up. This tilting motion will help the senior back up onto their feet again, eliminating some of the physical demands of getting back up from a seated position.
Dual Handles in High-Risk Areas
High-risk areas, like stairways and ramps, should be equipped with dual handles, rather than just a single handle. Dual handles offer more support and allow a senior to easily access a handle when traveling in either direction. Make sure to also install grab bars in the bathroom, too, especially by the toilet and tub.
If it’s within your budget, then installing a walk-in tub in the bathroom can be a great way to improve safety and make for easier caregiving. Rather than having to step over the tall edge of a traditional tub, a walk-in tub allows a senior to simply walk into the tub. This can reduce the danger of bathing, and also makes it far easier for a senior to bathe if they have declining balance, an injury, or a weakness that restricts their mobility.
Your Next Steps
Once you’ve gone through your loved one’s home, make up a list of the modifications that you would like to make. Some of these changes may be simple ones that you can make on your own, while others may require some professional help. With a few modifications, you can make your loved one’s house a safer environment that also makes for easier caregiving.