Home Adaptations for the Elderly
It can often be difficult for elderly people to get around the house. Steps, obstacles, and tripping hazards will sometimes necessitate a move out of a beloved family home, and even a restriction of independence. Fortunately, there are small adjustments that can be made to create a safe and accessible space for elderly family members. In this article, we will outline five ways in which any home can be adapted to make it more user-friendly for all.
- Hand rails
The addition of hand rails is an inexpensive and effective method of providing confidence to elderly family members who struggle with mobility. Hand rails can be added around doors, on walls, in the bathroom, and anywhere they may be required. The benefits are enormous; greater confidence in movement, avoidance of trips and falls, and assurance for family members concerned about the safety of their elderly relatives.
Hand rails can be purchased for less than $10 per unit, making them exceptionally economical. They are also very easy to fit, using only a few tools. Installation can be completed as a DIY project, or by a handyman for a small additional cost.
In houses with two or more floors, it may be necessary to invest in a stairlift. This will help an elderly person to remain in their home, and have full access to all of its amenities. Stairlifts also help to prevent injuries related to climbing stairs; including, trips, falls, bruises, sprains, and even broken bones.
There are a range of stairlifts available, to suit any design or space, and they may not be as intrusive or expensive as you think. Visit Gamburd to find out how a stairlift can be easily integrated into your home.
- Pull-out cupboards
The kitchen is full of hazards for anyone, regardless of their age, strength, or mobility. Help to minimise difficulty for elderly people by considering small adjustments or additions in the kitchen area. It’s easy to install a kettle tipper, or a one-handed chopping board, or an automatic can opener. In your cupboards and storage areas, invest in pull-out racks to make it easier to reach utensils and kitchenware. These are relatively inexpensive and beneficial to all family members.
- Walk-in bath or shower
A slightly larger, yet tremendously useful, project is to make adjustments to the bathroom. If budget allows, consider whether a full wet room, with level access throughout, would be appropriate for your family. Otherwise, smaller adaptations can be made. A heightened toilet seat, or a removable frame, may make it easier for elderly people to access existing fixtures. Adjusting the height of a hand basin for those in a wheelchair is also useful. A walk-in bath or shower is a worthwhile addition, allowing elderly people to retain their independence in personal hygiene.
If an elderly person is living on their own, it can make them more susceptible to door-to-door scams, or even burglars. Give peace of mind to elderly people and their loved ones by installing an intercom system. This needn’t be elaborate; simply a doorbell with a speaker system, alongside a door viewer, will provide confidence when a visitor arrives. Intercoms with integrated video functions are also a good investment, if the budget is sufficient.
The later years needn’t be a constant challenge. Give freedom and confidence to your elderly loved ones by making small adjustments to their homes.