As you or your loved ones get older, simple everyday tasks such as cooking dinner, walking up and down the stairs, cleaning, and washing can get harder and harder. That is why it is so important to live in a house that is accessible. With as accessible a house as possible, an older adult’s safety is maximized, meaning that they can age in place as calmly and as happily as possible without worrying.
This article will look at the different ways one can make a home fully accessible for older people, counting six vital installations or simple pieces of advice that will transform an older person’s home into a safe and enjoyable place to spend one’s time. While some can be considered quite costly, others are simple touches that are very affordable. Before we look at ways to make the house more accessible, however, have you considered that:
You Might be Better off at An Assisted Living Facility
There’s only so much that tools or fancy gadgets can do when facing off against the debilitating effects of aging. You or your loved ones may find that these attempts at accessibility simply are not enough to provide quality elderly care despite your best efforts. This is when it may be a better option to look at an assisted living facility.
For example, at The Landing On Dundee, where you can learn more by visiting the website, various staff members can help make those everyday tasks a lot easier. Not only this, but there are a variety of other activities available, including bowling, karaoke nights, and golf!
If you think you or your loved ones can still live at home, then here are our six essential items to make it a more accessible place. Read below to see which ones we have picked.
Assistive Seating and Adjustable Beds
Getting help sitting and standing is of massive importance when simple steps can be painful. That is where assistive seats come in. For example, a chair with high sides can keep one firmly in place, avoiding any nasty falls. Additional seats may come with special lifts, meaning that one can get up without extra strain. The trick is to get a seat that looks like a proper chair without giving away its modifications. The same principle can apply to adjustive beds, which can come with in-built adjustable tools meaning that getting into and out of bed is as comfortable as possible.
Stairs can be the nemesis of much older adults. Thankfully, the process of getting up and down the steps can be greatly assuaged by installing a stairlift. They are suited for any staircase you might have, whether it curves around, goes straight up, or traverses over multiple levels. All one has to do is sit in the chair, click the button, and gently lift upstairs, all without putting any unnecessary strain on the body. We would recommend hiring a professional to help with installing this one.
Smart devices are a broad term, but they essentially refer to the implementation of technologies to keep the older adult connected with the world around them. This can be as basic as a smartphone, which allows them to keep in contact with family and friends to a sophisticated, all-inclusive platform that accommodates various technologies. These can include a variety of tools such as:
- Voice assistants: perfect for reminders and ordering shopping without any physical movement
- Cameras and sensors: they can capture any nasty falls and alert the relevant people straight away
- Smart lights: they can turn off by themselves or via voice activation, reducing the unnecessary physical strain for the user
- Smart pill dispensers: giving older people their necessary medication at a routine time
- Robotic vacuum cleaners: cleaning the house for the elderly person
- Smart leak detector: catching any nasty leaks or spills, providing a safer house for the elderly
We recommend installing one or two of these devices and figuring out how they can work in tandem to provide the safest house possible. It is cool that many can be controlled by a central smart system, coordinating and simplifying the process immensely.
Kitchen and Bathroom Modifications
For both the kitchen and for the bathroom, we recommend making a series of modifications to make using both facilities a much easier and safer process. For the kitchen, this can include making the lights far brighter for easier visibility; re-arranging items at an eyesight level to minimize unnecessary stretching; making storage spaces easy to pull out; improving the use of drawer handles; and low countertops at the right height for cooking, cleaning, and chopping.
For the bathroom, we would recommend installing things to avoid nasty falls and unnecessary strains, such as a soft rug, anti-slip strips, handlebars, long-handled sponges, extra lighting, high-rising toilet seats, easy-to-use bottled soap, and an easy to access sink. This is essential, as the bathroom is considered to be a perilous place!
In particular, most houses and old houses have sudden rises in the ground, usually comprised of just one or two steps. For older adults with poor eyesight, these steps can lead to trips and unnecessary falls. They are terrible for people in wheelchairs, who may find themselves unable to get past them. That is why you should consider converting all small rises like these into easy-to-navigate ramps, making getting around the house easier than ever.
Eliminate as Many Trip Hazards as Possible
Older adults are at great risk of tripping over them and having a nasty fall. Most of these are sitting at ground levels, such as loose rugs, table legs, and stray cables. There are plenty of ways to have these things shifted out of the way so they are no longer dangerous. Make sure any loose carpet is properly secured as soon as you notice it, for example.