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When Elderly Parents Come to Stay – 6 Ways to Make Your Home More Senior-Friendly

So the time has come to accommodate your parents in your own home, you haven’t lived together since you have moved out years ago. 

Your home is filled with hazards, not only building hazards and your kids’ toys lying around. The wobbly old recliner chairs must be replaced with electric recliner lift chairs, don’t you think?. 

Not only will you have a new chair in your lounge, you’ll have a chair that is senior-friendly, keeping your parent or grandparent comfortable and happy. Nobody likes a grumpy elderly parent. Renovating your home could be the way to prevent some conflict. 


So, look around your home and see if you can identify hazards. They’re all around you and may not pose any threat to your safety, but it’s different for them. 

Identify Hazards 

Each home is filled with hazards. We don’t notice them as they show no risk to us. For the elderly, simple hazards can cause an injury or more.

Here are some common hazards that you can identify in your home:

  • Seating Hazards: Look for this in your living room especially. Your comfortable old chair might be on the verge of collapsing. That’s acceptable for you, but not someone who can hurt themselves when they lose their balance. If one of your parents seat themselves on it and it breaks right underneath them it can cause back problems. And be honest: isn’t that old couch straining your own back? 
  • Mobility hazards: Having stairs in your home can be an attractive feature. For the elderly, it can be a tiresome task to climb those stairs and that can cause them to fall. 
  • Bathroom Hazards: Most bathrooms have been designed with uneven surfaces or high edges that cause discomfort or risk when entering the shower or bath. 
  • Doorway Hazards: The edge of a doorway is not always flush with the floor’s surface. This can cause a tripping hazard.
  • Kitchen Hazards: Slippery tiles can cause great risk of slipping. Kitchenware can be outdated and broken or not user-friendly. These can cause major injury to your elderly parents.

Fortunately, these hazards can be easily taken care of. There are six easy ways to make your home more senior-friendly.

1. Removing or Replacing Broken Old Furniture

That comfortable recliner must go. It might just be the one item in your lounge that could cause one of your parents to fall to the ground and seriously injure themselves. Imagine replacing it with an electric recliner lift chair.

Another important aspect you may not think of is the ergonomics. This plays a major role when your parents enjoy their favourite TV shows on your old lounge suite. There are more comfortable and ergonomically safe seats on today’s market. Lift chairs provide comfort in more ways than one. Seat the elderly comfortably, but also help them get back up effortlessly, without unnecessary strain on joints. The new electric lift chair is an investment in their long-term health. 

2. Stairway Safety

If there is no choice and your parents have to use the stairs daily, then you can add a rail to assist them with the climb. Other options are also available to work around getting up the stairs safely. A stairlift can be the answer. 

3. Slippery Surfaces

Most bathrooms and kitchen have tiles, and with some wetness, those surfaces will become slippery. Install slip-proof flooring. Anti-slip tapes are perfect to stick on tiles, especially on the most used places around your home.

4. Uneven Surfaces 

Some areas of your home will have uneven surfaces. Those can cause tripping and major injuries to the elderly. For the safety of your elderly parents, put in the effort by flattening all those uneven surfaces in the garden and inside. If renovation is not a possibility, then install handrails for safe navigation.

5. Dangerous Appliances

Sure, you love that old toaster. It was a wedding gift years ago. But sometimes a little spark jumps at your hand when you grab your toast, right? 

That toaster can cause a shock to one of your frail parents. injuring them or worse. Replace the toaster with a safer and modern one to give you peace of mind. 

Take preventative measures and eliminate objects which can cause electrical shocks before you allow your parents to enter your kitchen and use your appliances. And keep all your kitchen appliances user-friendly for minimal frustration to everyone who will use them from now on.

6. Sharp & High Edges

Something as simple as getting in and out a bath can be a challenge to the elderly. Sharp and high edges are all over the bathroom, causing discomfort or hindering movement. 

You can avoid serious injuries by placing handrails in and around the bath & shower. Installing a fold-down seat in the shower and a seat in the bath will make the experience even safer & more comfortable. 

Conclusion

We love our elderly parents and to take care of them is a blessing; but also a major responsibility. 

Making your home senior-friendly is not only about creating a safe environment. Consider your habits too—keep your parents happy & comfortable in all ways possible by comprising where you can.

Now, have you disposed of that old couch yet?

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