It might be time for your parent to move in because of old age. In this case, you’ll need to make your house more accessible for them. This may mean undertaking various home improvements. Here are five remodeling ideas to make things more convenient for elderly parents.
1. Safe Flooring
The risk of slips, falls, and trips increases with old age. These may result in several injuries. So, as part of your home improvements, consider anti-slip flooring, especially for kitchens, bathrooms, and washrooms, as they’re frequently wet, a serious hazard.
You should also ensure the ground in your kitchen is leveled. Incorporating an open floor plan is a good idea for improving accessibility. It creates more space for wheelchairs and eases navigation.
Think about it. Minimal or no interior walls and no pillars mean way fewer obstacles. For older people with limited mobility, eliminating obstacles creates a perfect home.
2. Install Height and Grip-Friendly Devices
Medicare, on average, covers only 100 days of nursing home care, according to Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA. After that, things can get quite expensive. So, why not renovate your home instead?
Install lever handles to make it easier for people living with arthritis to easily open doors. This will help facilitate free movement. Your aim is to ensure they’re comfortable and give them a sense of independence.
Consider getting lower bed frames. These will allow them to easily get onto and off the bed. A lower bed is also friendly to older people’s joints.
Install grab bars where they need assistance standing up to reduce the risk of falling. These may include the tub, toilet, and bathroom. It gives them much-needed privacy as they can use these facilities without extra aid. Consider installing walk-in showers and tubs to increase their independence. This prevents them from struggling to climb over porcelain edges to help themselves.
3. Optimize Your Kitchen
As you make home improvements, remember your kitchen. A report by NKBA states that homeowners remodel over 10.2 million kitchens yearly. Your elderly parents don’t necessarily have to bend down or get on their knees to pick something from the back of the cabinets. Replace your doors with drawers to display your utensils all at once, making it easy to pick an item.
Storing larger kitchen items like pots and pans in drawers is also a good idea. Consider upgrading the pantry. Install a pull-out pantry to minimize shuffling items around to find them. This makes your kitchen more efficient, convenient, and easy to use.
Place your sink close to the stove. With age, your parent’s back and arms aren’t strong enough to support heavy items. This may cause spills, which may easily become slipping hazards. Place the sink near the stove and leave enough workspace in between. This allows for a comfortable area to set down a pot if need be.
4. Upgrade Your Interior Decor and Design
You need to make your space comfortable and safe. Remove rugs and carpets to prevent slips or trips. If you can, install hardwood or tiles on your floors. Carpetless floors are easier to clean. Plus, you won’t have to worry about wet rags in case of spillage.
Upgrade to an electric stove instead of gas. These can quickly turn themselves off when left unattended, a useful feature if your parent has issues with memory loss. Electric stoves also reduce the chances of burns due to open flames.
Include motion-detecting outdoor and indoor lighting. This helps increase visibility, lowering the chances of falls and slips. Automatic lighting also helps in case they forget to switch it off.
80% of homes in the U.S. are at least 20 years old, and most require remodeling, according to EarthWeb.com. If your elderly loved one has been living in their home for a while or is moving in with you, ensure you cultivate spaces with safety and comfort in mind. Get professional help for your home improvement if need be. This will ensure safety, efficiency, and independence for them.