Tips to Make Your Home Safe for an Aging Parent
If you’re thinking about bringing an aging parent or other loved one into your home, make sure your home environment is safe for them. When you’ve lived in a home for a number of years the familiarity and comfort of the home make it easy to overlook what could be hazards for an aging parent. Use these tips to assess your space and make it a safe haven for them to be in.
Avoid Potential Falls: Either remove or secure area rugs to the floor. Make sure any long cords are tacked to the wall or removed. Talk to family members about not leaving shoes, toys or other items in the middle of the floor that can pose a threat.
Create a Safe Bathroom: Install grab bars in the tub/shower and around the toilet. If your shower does not have a ledge to sit on, add a bathing chair. A hand-held shower head makes it very easy to shower while sitting down.
Add Nighttime Lights: Put night lights in outlets along hallways and in the bathroom so your parent can find their way for those times they will undoubtedly wake up during the night.
Eliminate Stairs, if Possible: If you have stairs outside your home, consider adding a ramp. If there are stairs inside, consider installing a motorized stair climbing system. If those aren’t options, make sure railings are in place and secure.
Ensure Good Lighting: If there is only one lamp in the bedroom, install a bright overhead light for better visibility. Check the brightness of each indoor room to make sure there is adequate light. Outside, add motion-sensor lights around any stairs or shaky walkways.
Buy a Medical Alert System: If there is a chance your parent may be home alone, the best thing to do is invest in a medical alert system. This will get help for your parent if they experience a medical emergency. And it will certainly ease your mind for those times you do have to leave them behind.