Growing Old Together: Home Improvements to Make Older Life Easier

It’s not uncommon for an elderly relative to be living with their younger family. Or perhaps you have a relative that lives on their own and you can’t visit as often as you’d like. Worrying about an aging family member certainly takes it’s toll, and it’s often the case that they won’t accept our help!

But did you know that there are little changes you could make to make their life a little easier? We’re not talking about huge renovations either! Just some quick, simple tips to help you sleep better at night and for your older relative to live life to the full!

Make their home visible

I don’t mean put them on display! But if you have an elderly relative that lives in a home that’s set back from the curb, down a winding lane or perhaps in a busy terraced street – you could make it easier for visitors and even the emergency services to locate their home as quickly as possible.

Home address signs by SmartSign are ideal in this scenario, as are house numbers and signs that are reflective and illuminate when a light is shined on them. Making the house number visible with a large, clear sign and even with a light above it would also work.

Add advanced and brighter lighting

One out of 3 adults aged 65 or older falls each year and those accidents often have major consequences. Did you know that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in adults age 65 and older? To prevent slips, start by checking the lights in your parent’s home. After all, dim lighting can lead to potentially dangerous falls, especially as our eyesight starts to go!

Put night lights in hallways, stairwells and bathrooms. Then look for additional spots where it may be hard to see, such as near the front entrance or close to the bed in the bedroom, and don’t forget to ask them if there is anywhere in particular that they find a bit dark and dingy.

Ensure floors are safe

Again, falls are a major issue. So, to avoid slippery floors, start by surveying each room. Securely tape down rugs or get rid of buckling carpet. Clear clutter that could cause tripping, including electrical or phone wires and cords. Check that the pathway from the bed to the bathroom is obstacle-free. Also, add non-slip mats in areas that can be prone to wetness, such as the bathroom and kitchen.

Make the bathroom fall-proof

We’ve all had a wobbly moment in the bathroom. But for an elderly relative it can be even more dangerous. Particularly at night, if they’re tired or just taken medication. Grab bars are a good starting point to increase safety. Also, look into getting a high-rise toilet.

In the shower, consider putting in a shower chair and replacing wall-mounted shower heads with hand-held ones. More elaborate modifications, such as walk-in bathtubs, may be a good fit for relatives who find it difficult to step into the tub.

By | 2017-11-18T19:18:47+00:00 November 11th, 2017|Family, Home, Safety|2 Comments

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  1. Rosie November 20, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    This is good information. One thing that is hard is older people often do not want to have anything that remotely looks like an elderly accommodation, to their huge detriment. I’m going though this right now with a relative, and who has medical background, and knows better.

  2. shelly peterson November 23, 2017 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    These are such great ideas. My mom is getting older and recently came for a visit and stayed with me for a couple weeks and I had to make some changes for her safety even just for a visit so I can see the importance of these in their own home.

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