Must-Have Modifications For an Elderly-Friendly Home

family in the living room

A study regarding home accidents in the elderly that result in them being brought to the emergency room shows that accidents with the elderly can happen almost anywhere at home, but mostly in toilets, sitting rooms, and the kitchen. That said, it’s important to consider the safety of the elderly living in your homes, which is why certain modifications have to be made not only to make traversal and daily living easier for the elderly but also to prevent any accidents and injuries at home. As such, we’ll be taking a look at ways you can make your home a lot safer and better for the elderly, as well as for those with limited mobility due to illness or disability:

Better Lighting

Having sufficient lighting all over your home is important for the safety of the elderly. You have to consider that elderly people’s eyesight aren’t as good as they used to, so it’s important that every section of the house is well-lit to make it safer for them to traverse as well as do certain tasks such as cooking or even working on tools. So add additional lighting to your bathrooms, hallways, as well as in the kitchen. It would be a good idea to invest in motion-sensor lights in the hallway (as well as the backdoors and driveways) so they wouldn’t have to try and find the switch.

Slips, Trips, and Fall Prevention

Slipping, tripping, and falling are the most common causes of injuries at home and at the workplace. For the elderly who have slower reaction, limited mobility, and poor eyesight, this risk is significantly increased. As such, it’s important for you to eliminate these hazards by making some changes at home such as removing or securing throw rugs, affix wires to the walls, provide non-slip footwear, and have also slip-proof the walls of the bathroom and tub/shower. You’d also want to install grab bars and additional railings in certain areas of the home to provide additional support.

For Houses With Elevation

Stairs can be quite difficult to traverse for the elderly, which is why investing in stair lifts or even a home elevator for your home in Salt Lake City, Utah can go a long way in providing convenience, comfort, and safety. You’d also want to consider adding ramps in and out of your home for better wheelchair access.

Handling Handles

Certain motions such as twisting can be difficult for the elderly, especially those with arthritis and other joint afflictions. As such, it’s a good idea to swap out your round doorknobs for lever-style handles that are easier to grip and open.

Wider Doorways

Walkers, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids may not fit into your current home’s doorways. As such, you’ll want to do some remodeling to your entryways to provide better access for mobility aids.

Re-arrangements

senior couple having breakfast

For the elderly who like to cook, or prefer to cook their own meals, it’s best to add a step stool to prevent them from over-reaching/stretching to get items from the cabinet. Alternatively, you can also place the ingredients in more accessible areas instead. You’d also want to avoid placing items at the bottom shelves to avoid the need to crouch or stoop to reach for ingredients and other items which can be difficult or cause neck and back pain to the elderly.

Conclusion

These home modifications can greatly improve the quality of life of the elderly as well as the non-elderly with limited mobility. If you’re not sure how to apply these modifications or simply wish to have a professional do it for you, there are contractors that specialize in senior home modifications that can help you out.