If a family member or loved one is progressing in years or is not as stable on their feet as they once were, it may be time to make a few changes around the home. As we age, our bodies start to slow down, and we may not be as agile or reactionary as we used to be. It can lead to our safety being compromised and can be very concerning and unnerving.
By making changes here and there, you can ensure that your loved one’s home continues to be a functional and practical space that they can enjoy without any stress or concern.
Here are 7 home adaptions to help the elderly or infirm.
Install a stairlift
Climbing the stairs a few times a day can take it out of you even when you are in good health, so you can imagine what it can do to someone older or unable to get around. A stair lift can change that and make the journey upstairs far easier! They can be installed on most staircases, and although they are not cheap, they could transform the life of someone who needs it.
Handrails are a popular home safety fixture used just about anywhere around the home. Whether used in the bathroom to help get on and off the toilet or in the kitchen to aid stability while cooking, they are a fabulous safety accessory. They even work well outside for maneuvering external stairs or as a support within the garden. They can usually be purchased individually or in packs and are reasonably easy to fit.
Motion sensor lighting
As the name suggests, motion sensor lighting automatically comes on when movement is detected. It is a brilliant addition to any home where the residents may struggle to see or have restricted movement. Lights come in both hardwired and wireless options and are usually fitted using a drill and a few screws. From dimly lit cupboards to driveways, motion lighting is a great way to make a homeowner feel safe and secure.
Medical alert systems
Medical alert systems are beneficial for anyone living alone or who may need medical help quickly. An alarm is triggered when the user activates a panic button – typically located on a watch, neck strap, or medical alert hub. Many systems can be activated by voice control – which could make a big difference to someone who has fallen over or is rendered immobile. There are many alternatives to suit a range of budgets and needs, so it’s worth spending a bit of time researching the options.
Label switches, cords, and sockets
Knowing which plug goes with which device can be a nightmare for anyone, let alone those who are elderly or partially sighted. Labeling switches, cords, and sockets can make things a whole lot easier and avoid any confusion when messing around with wires and switching appliances off. Stickers or a sharpie pen will work fine, but if you want a more professional look, you can buy color-coordinated labels as well as cord organizers.
A walk-in bath
Getting in and out of the bath can prove to be a bit of a nightmare once we reach old age, but alterations can be made here too! A walk-in bath is effectively just a bath with a door that (due to its low step height and tall sides) allows you to have a shower or bath while seated. It can help provide the elderly with a sense of freedom and improved capability, so it’s worth looking into further. A walk-in bath can be quite costly but are well worth the price tag if you can afford it.
One of the saddest things that can happen to anyone as they become elderly is to have to move house because they can no longer gain free and easy access to and from their current property. If your loved one is facing this prospect, there may be things you can do to delay it. If there are several stairs to maneuver to the front door, it may be possible to have a ramp installed. They work well for wheelchair access and are far easier to deal with than stairs.
Another option is having a door installed in a more accessible location – but you will need to speak to a building professional before having any works done. This type of alteration can involve consents and permissions and may not be as easy as it sounds.