There comes a time in a person’s life when they’re just a little too old to everything they once could in their hey day. While some choose to rent out an apartment in an assisted living facility for their elderly parents or relatives, others choose to invite their parents into their homes full time until medical conditions become too much for a family to handle. If you have an elderly parent moving into your house, you’ll need to make some changes to the lay of the land to make everything accessible and safe.
Install a Security System. Depending on where you live, it may give you and your parent peace of mind to have a security system installed to keep everyone and everything safe. That way, each person can have a unique code to activate everything. You’ll also want to ensure that your parent has fresh keys and access to all the local law enforcement and emergency responders.
Put things into reach. Older parents may not have the dexterity to reach up high to top shelves or get on their tippy toes to get a little extra height. As much as you can, make sure all the most important items in the house are easily reached. Bring down the cups and classes to eye-level, and don’t store important or frequently-accessed items near the floors of cabinets so older family members don’t have to bend down so far to get them.
Make sure safe step stools abound. For particularly stubborn parents, you want to encourage them to take appropriate safety precautions when they’re embarking on semi-dangerous tasks like changing light bulbs or fetching an item from the top shelf. Make sure that wherever there’s the temptation to climb on a chair, there’s a safe step stool instead. The kitchen is likely the most important place, but do a thorough search of your house to make sure.
Ensure there’s railings and slip-proof mats. In your bathrooms, showers, and staircases, you may want to cover your slippery surfaces with something with a little more traction. For elderly family members with weaker bones and less agility, a fall could mean absolute disaster, so take the proper precautions by purchasing non-slip mats and pads for the bathrooms, showers, and stairs. These are typically inexpensive but can offer peace of mind for you and safe navigation for your parents.