When an elderly relative has agreed to live in your home, things can change. Your home will be more crowded, you may have to look after one extra person, and you may have to adapt your home.
Chances are, you want your home to be a comfortable place for your elderly relative. However, it’s not always easy knowing what changes you could make.
Don’t worry, this article takes a look at how you can adapt your home.
1. Work on the Main Entrance
An area of the home that a lot of people fail to consider is the main entrance. Repairing uneven or cracked sidewalks can assist in fall prevention. Additionally, the repairs can help the entrance to look nicer.
You may also want to consider:
- Installing rails or a ramp in front of your home’s steps
- Adding non-slip flooring to help reduce accidents
- Installing motion-sensor lights that point to the steps and/or ramp
- Adding more lighting in the darker areas
- Installing a new door handle that’s easy to grip
All of the above adaptations can help to make your home’s main entrance safer for everyone.
2. Adapt the Bathrooms
Bathrooms can potentially be unsafe areas of the home. However, adapting them can help to reduce falls. You can do this by installing grab-bars in and around the shower or rub.
You may also want to add some grab-bars on the side of the toilet. Adding a raised toilet can make getting up and down so much easier. Finally, adding a padded shower chair can make showering much more pleasant.
3. Working on a Bedroom
Before your elderly relative arrives in your home, you’ll need to choose a bedroom for them. Ideally, you’ll choose a room that’s close to a bathroom. Consider making the following changes in the chosen bedroom:
- Installing lamps in darker areas of the room
- Making sure there is plenty of space to maneuver a wheelchair or walking aid
- Adding a nightlight so your relative can find their way around at night
- Installing an en-suite bathroom for ease of use
- Adding a sofa or desk so your relative’s room is more comfortable
Bedrooms can be pleasant places for your elderly relative to spend time. Make a few adjustments so the room is a nice place to be.
4. Improving Safety on the Stairs
Many people don’t feel safe when they’re using stairs. Your elderly relative may feel the same. You can make this area of your home safe by adding handrails on both sides.
You could also ensure that there is enough lighting.
Consider removing any rugs that are at the top and bottom of the stairs. Alternatively, you could add some non-slip backing. Finally, if your relative has mobility issues, installing a stair lift can help.
5. Making Adaptations to the Kitchen
If your elderly relative likes to cook, they will appreciate cooking utensils being within easy reach. The microwave could be moved to the counter top so that it’s accessible. You may also want to consider de-cluttering the kitchen so your relative can move around easily.
6. Work on The Living Area
It’s likely that your home has at least one living area where people spend time. You can make this area safer by:
- Adding non-slip backing to all runners and rugs
- Hiding and securing extension cords so they cannot be tripped over
- Moving furniture around so that there’s a lot of room to maneuver
- Adding a chair close to the door so your relative can sit down straight away
- Ensuring that every area of the room is well-lit, especially the areas where people walk
- Making sure that the doorway is wide enough for a wheelchair to get through
7. Adapt Your Back Yard
If your home has a back yard, you may need to adapt it. Install a ramp, if you need to, or put some grab-rails on either side of the steps. Deal with any uneven surfaces. Make sure there’s plenty of space on walkways so your relative can move around.
Don’t forget to add some more lighting here and there, particularly in dark areas.
You naturally want your elderly relative to feel safe and comfortable in your home. Use the above tips to help you to make the necessary changes. When you do, both you and your relative will feel more at ease.