Are your parents going to be visiting frequently? Or is mom going to move in with you for good? Whatever the situation, it is always a good idea to “senior-proof” your home. Apart from the usual installing of wheelchair ramps, and putting mats in the bathroom there are more things you can do to avoid unwanted accidents around the house.
Especially for seniors who live alone, sometimes opening and shutting jammed windows can prove to be a bit of a challenge. With age, the strength of our muscles begins to deteriorate which is why it is a good idea to install windows that are easy to operate. Windows that slide sideways rather than up or down are a lot safer and easier to use. Also, there is no fear of the window suddenly falling down due to faulty or broken latches
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ODDS AND ENDS
Along with muscle strength, motor control aloes begins to deteriorate. Elderly people find it a bit challenging to grip round door knobs. Go ahead and replace these with lever handles for all the doors around the house.
If you have floor rugs, these can cause a tripping hazard so be sure to secure then to the ground with double sided tape or get rid of them altogether.
The handles on kitchen cabinets should be changed to D-shaped handles, as these are easier to grip and work a lot better for people with arthritis.
The most obvious addition however is to add hand rails to your staircase on both sides or modify your banister so that it is not too thick and easy to grip.
The most dangerous and accident prone place in the entire house is that bathroom. And most accidents occur due to slippery floors.
Friction mats in the bathroom are a great way to prevent anyone from slipping and falling even if they get wet. If you have a bathroom where the shower is in the tub itself, go ahead and put in a rubber mat there as well. The amount of bathtub accidents that occur are far too great to count, so try not to become part of that uncountable statistic!
Another helpful addition to a bathroom is a bathing stool. Taking a shower can prove to be a very tiring affair, especially on an off day, and a stool will make things safer and easier for a tired senior. Be sure to use a stool with rubber bulbs at the end of its legs to avoid further accidents.
In spite of all these precautionary additions it is always better to be safe. Installing a water resistant, wall mounted phone is a really good idea in case of emergencies. It is best to put it in the shower area since that’s where most accidents statistically occur. If you have a large bathroom, you could add another phone near the toilet seat just in case.
There are so many accidents that can occur and so many things that can go wrong. We can never prepare ourselves fully and account for all of them, but we can be extremely careful and do everything in our power to make sure they don’t happen.