Home improvements are necessary for old-age people. With old age come health conditions like diabetes, and even the daily mobility and capabilities are affected. You can make arrangements like a hospice nurse to provide care and assistance for health issues. With home improvements and modifications, you can help increase the comfort levels of the elderly. These modifications can help them carry out their daily tasks with ease, giving them a sense of independence and self-reliability. Here’s how you can make the house more accommodating and elderly-friendly.
Create a Plan
Before carrying out any modifications, planning is necessary. You will need to assess the needs of aging individuals and find areas where they face difficulties. You can even consult their doctor to get an idea of your aging family members’ abilities to decide which areas need modifications and to what extent. Carry out a room-by-room assessment and look for areas that can cause issues. For instance, lookfor slipping hazards like smooth flooring or congested areas that can affect movement.
Next, you need to hire a contractor specializing in home modifications for the elderly and coordinate with the health officials to make adjustments precisely as required.
Get Rid of Excess
Even before you start making any changes to the home, simple tasks such as throwing away unwanted things can help. For instance, you can eliminate unnecessary furniture, increasing the moving space, allowing the elderly to move freely. Similarly, make sure that the most commonly used pathways are free of any obstructions, including decorative items. You can carry out similar other changes. The unwanted objects can either be moved to the storeroom, basement, or attic. You can even sell some items for additional money.
Hire a Contractor
As mentioned earlier, you need to hire a contractor to carry out the modifications. Make sure that the contractor is well-versed with home modifications explicitly made for aging people. Discuss the changes that need to be done and seek additional input from the contractor. An experienced contractor may suggest additional changes that can further improve accessibility and comfort.
Additionally, make sure that older people don’t face any inconvenience during the renovation work. If possible, have them move into your place during the renovation period to avoid any hassles.
Carry Out the Improvements
Once you have everything finalized, you can start with the home improvement process. The kitchen and bathroom are the two most important areas that will require improvements. Some common modifications that will be required to be done are:
The kitchen area is one of the most-used spaces in the house. Thus, you will need to make many adjustments to this space to ensure that the elderly can carry out their chores. Some kitchen improvements that you can make include:
- The dishwasher height can be raised by a few feet so that the older adults won’t need to bend during the loading and unloading process.
- Lower the height of the cabinets or replace them altogether. You can replace them with drawers or keep the items at a height easily accessible.
- Old age leads to deteriorating eyesight. Accidents can happen, leading to serious injuries involving hot appliances or sharp objects. Install bright lights in the kitchen so that the elderly can work safely.
- Lower the height of the countertop for ease of use. Choose a material that is easy to clean and maintain, like quartz or granite.
- Adjust the faucets in a manner that they can be easily accessed and used.
While the bathroom isn’t as frequently used as other rooms, it is the place where most accidents can happen. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, about 235,000 people seek medical help due to bathroom-related injuries every year. The risk of an injury increases with old age. Thus, you need to make changes that can reduce the risk of slips and falls and other possible accidents. Some changes that can be done to the bathroom area are:
- Increase the toilet height so that the elderly don’t face any difficulties in sitting or squatting. Additionally, attach grab bars to the walls to improve support and grip.
- Install carpets and rugs with a non-skid feature.
- Install a walk-in tub that can help reduce the efforts required to get in or outside.
- Keep the toiletries and other items at an easily-accessible height.
There are other minor improvements that you can carry out throughout the home. For instance, replacing doorknobs and faucets with lever handles, installing rocker switches, and removing unwanted items. The kitchen and the bathroom areas are the most-risky. Hence, you should first prioritize bringing improvements to these two areas.