Happy 75th Grandma!! – Photo Courtesy: Chad Magiera
Many houses today have too many decorative elements and spaces designed for younger, robust people. When you have a senior citizen or an elderly person living at home, its lay-out should change drastically; you must take care to make it safe and habitable. The elderly require special living needs which most hospices and palliative care centers provide. But with a few tweaks here and there and some modification, you can make the living space you share with your beloved elderly person not just senior citizen-friendly, but also a happy one they can call home.
Get any stumbling or sharp obstacles out of their way.
Modifying your home to make it safe for the elderly can be as simple as putting away things that can block their path when they go from one area to another, such as throw rugs, coffee tables, bric-a-brac, potted plants, and toys and other things littering the floor. Older people using canes, crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs need a clear and even surface to move around in. Any obstacle threatening to block their path or slow down their progress can prove disastrous, so make sure to get them out of the way.
Also, clear away or modify any pieces of furniture or appliances with sharp edges that can snag on their skin, hair, or clothes as they pass.
Provide wheelchair ramps in areas that need them.
Investing in wheelchair ramps is one of the most practical and thoughtful things you can do to make your beloved senior citizen’s life easier. They will find it difficult to go up steps using their wheelchairs, but a ramp can help them move from one level to another. Make sure to install ramps that aren’t too steep and made of slippery surfaces. Right: Grandpa trying out his new wheelchair ramp. Easy, easy Grandpa!! – Photo Courtesy: mateoutah
Place hand rails along walls and in the bath.
To aid in their mobility while using the bathroom or going to the kitchen or bedroom, install hand rails they can hold on to while moving from one place to the next. Even those on wheelchairs need them to use the toilet, or lower themselves onto special seats or their bed. Those who need assistance in moving around or are in physical therapy can find these hand rails extremely helpful in strengthening their legs and stamina, but always take care to be around the elderly when they need to use the bathroom or go somewhere in the house to avoid slips and falls.
Provide a bell pull or buzzer system at their bedside.
A busy home can understandably have moments of high noise levels, but for the sake of your beloved elderly person, it’s best to keep the noise down to a minimum to let them rest properly. Also, older people need to be assisted at all times, so not hearing them call out can result in some inconvenient moments. It’s best to put up a bell system, either a hand bell or one that can be pulled with a string, or a buzzer to summon somebody to help them out. An intercom system is good, but the buttons can prove confusing to an older person with eyesight problems.
Marc Webster is a handicap walker and wheelchair expert at All Time Medical. He is also a prolific guest blogger and has been published all over the Web.