If you’re a caregiver who has decided it’s best for all concerned that your senior loved one move in with you, you’ll need to start preparing your home for their arrival. Here are just some of the many things you can do to help ensure their comfort and safety, courtesy of Vitals™ Aware Services.
Up to 80% of falls in the home involving those over 65 occur in the bathroom. Adapting your bathroom can help them avoid becoming another statistic.
- Grab bars. These are fitted in a shower, in a bathtub, and by the toilet to help your loved one maintain balance while standing or maneuvering. When installing grab bars, you’ll need to ensure they meet specific requirements.
- Raised toilet seat. These reduce the distance your loved one has to lower themselves to the seat and rise again, resulting in less stress on the joints.
Adapting Your Kitchen
Creating a senior-friendly kitchen doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. There are several simple, affordable things that caregivers can do to ensure the safety of their loved ones.
- Accessible storage. Place regularly used items like cookware between waist and shoulder height or in lower cabinets if your loved one is a wheelchair user.
- Replace pull knobs. If your loved one has arthritis, they may have difficulty gripping round pull knobs, so consider replacing them with wide drawer pulls, or D-shaped pulls, as they’re also called.
- Contrasting colors. Using labels and colors in your kitchen is helpful for seniors with dementia or limited vision. Use a permanent marker or nail polish to pinpoint the off position on appliances. If your loved one has difficulty with depth perception, non-slip tape on the floor can indicate where the floor ends and the wall begins.
Enhancing Your Lighting
Besides reducing the risk of falls, well-lit spaces also make it easier for seniors to enjoy hobbies like reading and painting. There are several ways that caregivers can make lighting more practical for seniors.
- Install brighter bulbs. If possible, use LED, halogen, or incandescent bulbs as they reach full brightness as soon as they’re switched on.
- Install motion sensors. Install them in the bathroom to avoid your loved one having to fumble around in the dark during a late-night visit. Place a touch lamp on the bedside table.
- Update light switches. Replace tiny switches or knobs with rocker switches that can be operated with the palm of the hand.
Renovate Your Basement
Caregivers can create a private space for your senior loved one by renovating your basement. Although you could attempt the job yourself, to avoid all the headaches and ensure high quality, a better idea would be to hire a reliable contractor. The cost will depend on location, preferred materials, and desired improvements. If you’re thinking of adding carpeting and want to avoid the risk of mold, be sure to include subfloor insulation.
Greater Peace of Mind
From kitchen and bathroom modifications to enhanced lighting and basement renovations, home alterations that make your senior loved one’s life safer and more comfortable when they move in can also give you greater peace of mind – as can the Vitals App.
Vitals Aware Services started in 2017 to meet a pressing need that we couldn’t ignore: communities needed a simple way to protect the most vulnerable children and adults, in the moments when seconds count and minutes matter. That’s where our app comes in, providing better protection and fewer worries. Feel free to reach out with questions!
Vitals™ is the technology solution that bridges the information gap between first responders and vulnerable people in times of crisis.
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