Home Modifications for the Elderly
As you get older, your mobility can become limited, and your cognitive function can decline. The severity of physical and mental decline varies from person to person. Although aging is a natural part of life that we can’t do very much to stop (or anything at all, for that matter), we can do plenty of things to make aging more enjoyable. In this article you will find several home modifications for the elderly that you can do.
Yes, aging can be enjoyable! However, gone are the days when getting old means you can continue to do the things that you love. With the fantastic tools and technologies that are now available, you can live a happy and fulfilling life well into your nineties.
Since older people tend to spend most of their time at home, making positive changes in your personal space can significantly affect your quality of life. The small touches can transform a house into a home, and it helps you to feel more comfortable in your own space.
When you implement great tools and equipment into your home, you will feel more confident doing things by yourself. You will be able to move from room to room with ease, cook your favorite dishes, and go out in the garden without needing additional support.
Even if you have family members to help you with your activities of daily living (ADLs), being able to do them independently is essential. Having independence is empowering and keeps you feeling positive.
Home technologies also improve the safety of your home. It can lower the risk of trips and falls, thereby reducing your risk of injuries. As you age, recovery from injuries gets longer and harder, so avoiding them altogether is vital.
To prevent falls and injuries and promote independence, there are many significant modifications that you can make in your home. Here are some excellent home safety ideas for you to consider.
As you age, your joints become stiffer. This can cause limited ability and makes moving around or how much more complicated. It can also make you feel unsteady on your feet, increasing your risk of injuries and reducing confidence.
Installing handrails around your home, and you always have something to grip onto if you feel like you are about to fall over. They are easy to insert and are highly affordable, but they effectively reduce your risk of injuries.
Consider getting handrails inserted in the areas of your home that you use the most. For example, it might be helpful to add a couple of handrails in your kitchen, living room, and bathroom.
You could also get a handrail inserted in your bathtub or shower so you have something to hold onto when you are washing. Since the bathroom floor can be slippery, having a handrail to support you provides some much-needed safety.
Alternatively, consider getting one of the many walk-in tubs available for home installation. Walk-in tubs make things much easier and safer by eliminating the need for you to climb over the side of the tub.
Purchase Adjustable Chairs and Beds
If you have limited mobility and find it difficult to bend at the hips and knees, getting in and out of a traditional chair or bed can be very difficult. Maneuvering in and out of a low chair or bed can cause you to become unstable and fall over.
Depending on your needs, you can now get adjustable chairs and beds that can be heightened or lowered. In addition, they can be adjusted to particular inclined to help you stand up or sit down properly.
Using an adjustable bed will also help you find a more comfortable position to sleep in, meaning you can get a great night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. This can be physically helpful if you often struggle to get adequate rest each night.
If you have swollen legs and ankles due to poor circulation, your doctor may have advised you to elevate your legs as much as possible. Some adjustable chairs enable you to raise the lower part of the chair to keep your legs in a horizontal position. This will help with blood flow and may reduce your swelling.
Install an Electric Stair Lift
The stairs are a common location for falls for older adults. However, if you find it difficult to walk up the stairs on your property, an electric stairlift can be the perfect solution.
Although relatively expensive to install, there is no price on your safety. An electric stairlift will remove the need for you to struggle to get into the upper floors of your home.
A stairlift is a motorized chair that can travel up your stairs at a set speed. As a result, you will no longer need to worry about falling over as you climb the stairs. Instead, all you need to do is sit down comfortably in the stairlift seat and allow it to do the work for you!
Widen Your Doorways
For most people, the standard width of a doorway is excellent. However, narrow openings can be challenging to navigate if you use a wheelchair or walking aid.
You might feel unstable and unbalanced when you are trying to squeeze through the small spaces between each room on your property.
Luckily, it is possible to get your doorways widened. Unfortunately, it’s a job that requires professional builders, and it may take several weeks for every door on your property to be adjusted.
You will need to fully assess your property to identify which doorways are safe to widen. Certain areas in your home might not be qualifiable for such extensive renovations, but this is something that a professional builder or architect will be able to assess.
Despite taking a while, it’s worth widening your doorways if you know that you are staying on the property for the foreseeable future. It will make moving around your home much easier and less stressful.