In order to continue an independent and happy lifestyle, many seniors have decided to remain in their homes as they age. However, accessibility and safety issues can arise at home as age increases. Here are some great home improvement ideas to make a senior’s home safer and more accessible.
For seniors with mobility issues, going up and down the stairs can be a tiresome and potentially dangerous task. Luckily, many improvements can be made to enhance stair safety and accessibility. Rails can be installed for extra support and carpet can be put in to improve traction on the stairs. Stairs can also be widened and traction (non-slip, reflective) tape can be installed to avoid slips, trips and falls from occurring. Mechanical stairs can also be installed to transport a senior up and down the stairs. Adequate lighting should also be installed to improve vision.
Kitchen and Bathroom
Accessibly in the kitchen and bathroom is crucial for seniors to stay independent. Cupboards and countertops can be lowered to a more accessible height in order to more easily prepare meals and reach whatever is needed. For residents with grip issues, hands-free sinks can be installed and special, customizable touch latches can be installed on drawers and cupboards to make them more accessible.
In the bathroom, anti-slip matting or a walk-in tub should be installed to assist with mobility issues and prevent the risk of injury. Toilets and walk in showers should also be equipped with easy to reach bars to improve mobility and enhance stability. A bench in the shower is also a nice feature for people that have trouble standing for extended periods of time.
Traveling to and from the house should not be a tedious task for a senior with mobility problems. Ramps can be installed for seniors with walkers or wheelchairs to make exterior doors more accessible. Doors can also be widened to accommodate wheelchairs and locks can be improved to make them easier to operate.
Proper lighting around the exterior of the house as well as in the interior of the home is essential to improve safety and mobility. Adequate lighting in the basement is important especially if it is cluttered. With proper bright light fixtures all throughout the home, a senior can get around the house comfortably without having to worry about missing a step and the risk of slips, trips, and falls is significantly reduced.
When doing any home renovations, hiring the appropriate general contractor for the job is advised rather than making it a DIY project. General contractors will do the job properly the first time and make sure it is up to code. Don’t risk safety to save a few dollars.
If you have any further questions about home improvements for senior safety, give us a call at Qualicare Family Homecare.