As we age, human beings become naturally less dependent and able to accomplish certain tasks on a daily basis. Senior people are also more prone to accidents resulting in permanent physical injuries as well as social isolation and exclusion.
There are many options available to ensure your elderly loved one receives the support they require, and many times, that means asking your family member to move in with you, so that you can monitor how well they are doing and so that they can stay close to family.
If you decide to welcome your elderly family member into your home for the long-term, there are a few things you will need to change in your home in order to have it ready. In this article, we will discuss how you can prepare your home in order to provide the best elderly care.
The very first thing you will want to do before your loved one moves in is to decide what room they will be in. This is an important decision as there are a few factors that you should take into consideration. For example, if possible, the bedroom should be downstairs, to avoid making your family member walk up and down the stairs, which they may struggle with. Ideally, it will also be closer to the bathroom so they can use it anytime they need without having to walk a long distance, particularly if mobility is an issue.
Reduce Clutter Around the House
Your elderly family member may struggle to move around as easily as we do. For this reason, it is vital that you ensure that there is no clutter in their room or even around the house in general so that they have enough space to move around. Additionally, cluttering items are a potential hazard if your loved one trips over them and falls, causing serious injuries. It’s best to keep clutter to a minimum to prevent an accident from occurring.
Invest in Proper lighting
Evidently, one thing many people struggle with once they age is their sight and how much people can actually see, even with the support of glasses. When you are preparing your home for elderly care, having good lighting around the house is crucial. If the individual is able to move around with no issues, good lighting will make them even more independent.
Changes to The Bathroom
Many home accidents to elderly people often occur in the bathroom. This is a no brainer, as bathrooms are often wet and slippery. Therefore making changes to this area should be a priority. Furthermore, if possible, you will want to make sure that going to the bathroom is as easy as possible for them so that they maintain a sense of independence.
Some of the things you can add are slip prevention flooring to this area, including the shower. Adding a grab bar to the shower, tub, and next to the toilet, will allow your elderly family member a better grip, thus preventing falls. In the toilet, you can add a seat riser, which is designed to support people with injuries and/or mobility issues. Making these changes will significantly impact the quality of life of your loved one as well as making it easier for you to care for them.
Changes to The Kitchen
The kitchen is home to many potential hazards, such as hot hobs, pans and oil, and carelessness in this area can result in serious injury. When preparing your home for elderly care, amending your kitchen as part of this preparation will increase the safety of your loved one in your home. You can switch to kitchen appliances that are easy to use, and make sure all items that are used on a daily basis are easily accessible, rather than being on very high or low shelves, for example. Having a senior-proofed kitchen will enable your loved one to use it, and feel more autonomous.
Consider Hiring a Caregiver
Depending on the care your loved one needs, it may be beneficial to hire someone with expertise in elderly care in order to support you and your loved one. This does not have to be a full-time support – there are many carers available on a part-time basis. This will, evidently, depend on how comfortable you are with having someone else in your house and how comfortable your loved one is with having a potential stranger look after them. However, it will free you up sometime, which is essential, particularly if you work or have children who are still dependent on you.
Making all these changes to your home may seem extravagant, although, considering the potential hazards around the home, it is necessary that these changes are made in order to keep your elderly loved one comfortable and well taken care of.