Security is a significant consideration whether you are taking care of an ageing loved one at home or if your senior parents are living away from home. One effective strategy to strengthen the safety of your senior loved ones is to make technological investments. To make your residence secure and much more functional for your elderly family members, you could make a variety of changes besides using technology, ranging from little, free, or inexpensive changes to more substantial, more complicated modifications.
General Home Modification Tips for the Elderly
Homes, nursing homes, or elderly studio apartments might not initially appear to be a dangerous environment. And yet, several unnoticed hazards pose a risk to the elderly everywhere around the house, from steep entrances or wet and slippery areas that can lead to slips and falls to poor lighting and litter that could also make the house challenging to manoeuvre for seniors with mobility issues.
To help you establish a secure, accessible environment for your ageing family members throughout the house, we’ve gathered up to 30 professional suggestions and home improvement ideas.
1. Employ an Occupational Therapist
The employment of a qualified occupational therapist may be worth the added work even if it is conceivable and attractive for the non-professional to evaluate the alterations required to create a household equally accessible and comfortable for the seniors. Understanding that ageing is a process is significant since it means that adaptations made to meet needs today may not be adequate for needs a year from now. That said, the ability to predict how one’s requirements may change is crucial if you are looking to provide home modification services for your active seniors’ sake.
2. Provide Better Lighting on Stairways
As part of your home improvement programme, provide more lighting to all stairways as well as the ground floor by adding wall outlets for nightlights, placing ceiling fixtures, or adding fluorescent lights or other wall-mounted lighting.
3. Eliminate Clutter
Try and ensure there are open spaces and unobstructed walkways so your seniors can move around without running into anything, particularly in the places they spend a great deal of time in. To build more unrestricted living space at home, only keep what you currently need while moving the excess taken out of the way.
4. Assessing Accessibility for Wheelchairs
Doorways must be made wider, areas must be made accessible for wheelchairs, sink and cupboard kitchen counter heights must be lowered, grab bars must be installed, and light fixtures and electrical outlets must be situated at easily accessible levels.
5. Install Smart Door Locks and Security Systems
The peace of knowing they are protected within their own house is provided by smart home locks and security systems for elderly residents with mobility limitations. For people who find it difficult to move across their home to securely lock and unlock doorways at all times, basic versions of door locks allow users to do so via smartphones. Provided you are online, a more advanced system provides more intricate home monitoring features that let you lock doors, switch on and off lights, and see security cameras from wherever you are.
6. Minimize Cluttered Cords
Rearranging the devices in the living room will help keep the cords confined in as little of an area as possible. Unnecessary cords not only look untidy, but they may also constitute a serious tripping danger. If this isn’t a possibility, use electrical tape to affix the cords to the walls as closely as you can. If possible, keep cords away from doors and pathways.
7. Install Handrails
Whether you have stairs, they need to have securely fastened railings that span the entire staircase. Where necessary, think about including a reflective strip on every step.
8. Consider Buying Smart Home Devices
To increase comfort and security sensors can virtually watch over your elderly folk while they are at home. Also, you can operate home appliances like lights, a TV, or a thermostat using voice-controlled assistant devices. Also, you may operate connected home systems such as doors, windows, and sprinklers with the touch of a button from anywhere in the house.
9. Set Up Slip-Resistant Flooring
Generally, your level of home safety may be impacted by the sort of existing floor tiles you have. Glare and slipperiness are potential effects of glossy, slick flooring. Certain area rugs and throw rugs might cause trips and fall. Also, falls might occur due to incorrect indoor or outdoor tile.
10. Setup a Home Monitoring System
For any property where an older person lives independently, a supervised home security system is a sensible investment because senior persons are more susceptible to home invasions. The monitoring provider receives a notification from the system when it detects an issue, and it subsequently contacts the proper authorities. Also, you can visit this link for more tips.
11. Keep the Items You Use the Most Accessible
Indeed, it’s risky for an elderly person to stand on a chair or step stool to reach anything that’s been stacked too high. To avoid a fall, place the most used goods in lower cabinets.
12. Establish a Pull-Out Pantry
Drawers that provide quick and easy access to your canned products and food supplies for your elders are not only practical but also easier on their backs and knees. Moreover, heavier portable appliances like food processors, slow cookers, and toasters can be stored using the pullouts.
13. Adjust the Sink
To make the sink accessible to people who are wheelchair-bound, you may also include a roll-under sink. It is possible to find automated, adjustable-height worktops and sinks that may change from a conventional height to one that is more wheelchair-accessible.
14. Provide Grab Bars in the Restroom
Another way to reduce falls is by installing grab bars in the restroom. For grab bars to support a person’s weight, they must also be correctly fixed into the wall studs. The greatest option for your loved one’s welfare is to have grab bars properly placed if you don’t know how to do it yourself.
15. Implement a Shower Stall
Rather than keeping the outdated tub, replace it with a barrier-free shower cubicle that allows for simple access and removes having to move up and over. Put grab bars in the shower and tub, a pull-down chair, and showerheads that can be adjusted in height.
16. Mount Lever Faucets
The turning and twisting, which may be challenging for the elderly, are eliminated with a lever faucet. There are a huge variety of types available, including foot-operated faucets. It is not as complicated to put in a fresh faucet as it previously was, but while dealing with plumbing, it’s best to at least consult an expert before installing the new one.
17. Adopt Elevated Toilet Seats
To make it simpler for the elderly person to sit down and stand up, raised toilet seats can be installed on top of the original seat. Portable elevated toilet seats are available for purchase with or without cushioning and arms.
18. Install Anti-slip Bathroom Mats
Budget-friendly options for preventing slips include bath mats with something like a non-skid surface or bath rugs with carpeting. The obvious solution for a few bucks is a bath mat because it is less costly than rebuilding the flooring.
19. Change Into Removable Shower Heads
Moreover, you might want to think about a retractable shower head that you can move about and use for easier cleaning. It is simpler to wash and become clean while remaining comfortable and secure because you may relocate this to where you want it and alter the spray type and intensity.
20. Place Most Furniture near Outlets
Set up the furniture so that lighting and appliances may be connected to outlets without the need for extension cords. If you must have one, put it on the floor away from traffic and against a wall.
21. Remove Any Low Furniture
To maintain a pleasant and secure living space for persons who use a cane, walker, and perhaps other mobility equipment, furniture arrangement is crucial. Low furniture is a particular challenge because it might be difficult to detect them and they are simple targets for walkers and other equipment. Also, a safe living place typically offers simple, unimpeded access.
22. Provide Clear Pathways Three Feet Wide
Keep in mind that there are no carpet tears, rips, or other irregularities by arranging your furniture to leave 3-foot wide clean paths throughout the space. Use huge furniture pieces, including the sofa’s backrest, to create a passageway.
23. Provide Adequate Height Seating
For the seniors to be comfortable at all times, help ensure their seating is cosy and at the right height so they can stand and sit with ease.
24. Place Bed Rails
For many elderly people, especially those who live alone, falls are a major concern. Also, you must remove all potential fall hazards for children in your home if you want to keep them healthy and secure. Installing little rails on the edges of their bed is a wonderful method to prevent falls and keep them secure in their bedroom. These rails will prevent the seniors from falling off the bed and make it easier to help them sit up from their beds and leave the bed.
25. Place Paddings for Sharp Corners
It could be a smart option to pad any hard edges on your bed, side tables, and perhaps other furniture in your house to avert an unwanted accident. Be careful that any bed coverings, comforters, or furniture coverings don’t dangle too low so that you might trip over them.
26. Always Have Access to Mobile Phones
Having a means of communication when away from home is risky. And yet, smartphones and the advantages of senior-friendly apps should be considered instead of simple models with large buttons for elders.
27. Provide a Bedroom Table for Necessities
Choose a substantial nightstand with enough surface area to accommodate a lamp, smartphone, glasses, and water; utilize the drawer to keep a flashlight and additional batteries for your emergency devices.
28. Optimize Lighting and Minimize Glare
Adjustments to account for sensory loss are some of the fundamental improvements which can be made to a household without spending a lot of money on remodelling. Ceilings should always be white to properly reflect the house’s lighting for persons with limited vision, and walls should indeed be painted with a glare-free light hue.
29. Open Wider Doorways
Doorways can present a significant challenge for seniors who depend on mobility aids to navigate around the house since they must be large enough to allow them to get through with their equipment. If these doors are small or blocked, it will be harder for them to be independent and will be more difficult for everyone. For older people to move about their homes more easily, remove obstacles and broaden doorways.
30. Make the Doorway a Secure Area
Make a space for your belongings both within and outside your home’s entryways. To maintain both hands free and your stability high when entering and leaving, use the entryways securely.
The only way we can age in place safely for our senior loved ones is if we’re prepared to make modifications to our living space. The greatest thing is that it is unquestionably doable thanks to various senior home modification guides. Also, we can provide solutions to meet specific requirements and assist you with your elderly care in Singapore needs with their retirement life with our huge variety of products for at-home care.