Creating a safe and comfortable environment for elderly individuals is a vital part of every age-in-place plan. Fortunately, there are a number of creative ways to make your home easier to use and navigate by elderly with mobility challenges. Best of all, many of these improvements will increase the functionality of the home for all residents. Here are four creative ways to improve senior safety around the house, furnished by Home Care Assistance of Palm Beach.
1. Have a Wet Room Installed
Wet rooms are becoming increasingly popular among residential property owners. With a wet room, the toilet is elevated above floor level so that it can be easily accessed by wheelchair users, the standard bathtub and/or shower enclosures are removed, and the floor and walls are coated in a slip-resistant and waterproof material. The bathroom floor is then angled towards a central drain and showerheads are installed throughout. This creates one large, safe space for bathing that is ideal for family members of all ages. Wet Rooms are also an ideal space to install a chair or bench for your senior loved one to use while bathing.
2. Install Soft-Sided Hanging Dressers
Heavy dresser drawers are a common but little-known hazard. Changes in mobility and fine motor coordination can make it difficult for adults to find and manage their clothing without the risk of heavy drawers sliding out entirely or causing the entire unit to tip. There are a number of low-cost, soft-sided hanging dressers that can be placed in the closet instead, making clothing visible and easy to access.
3. Create a Universal and Layered Lighting Design
One of the best ways to enhance senior safety is by increasing visibility throughout all areas of the home. Implementing a universal and layered lighting design will make each room and hallway far more adaptable. This plan can include overhead lighting, task lighting, and complimentary lighting such as wall sconces and track lights. When indoor areas are sufficiently illuminated, identifying and overcoming physical obstacles will be much easier.
4. Install Shelves or Seats at the Front Door
Giving seniors a convenient place to rest or place their goods after arriving home can prevent trips and falls. Aging adults can collect their bearings after having climbed stairs, search for their keys, and ready themselves for navigating a raised entry. These low-cost additions encourage seniors to slow down, take a break, and focus on individual tasks.
If you’d like to provide your senior loved one with extra help on a regular basis, or want peace of mind knowing someone else is at home to promote his or her safety and well being, consider hiring a highly-trained and compassionate caregiver through Home Care Assistance. In addition to caregivers with 24/7 availability, we also provide in-home Alzheimer’s care, dementia care, and Parkinson’s care. To learn more about the services available, call a friendly Care Manager at (561) 429-8202 who can answer your questions, address concerns, and schedule your free in-home consultation.