Elderly at Home? Home Improvements to Add to Their Comfort
Thirty and young, you build your dream house with statement-style stairways and a spa-worthy bathroom. But gone are those youthful days. Now maybe you are a senior yourself, or your parents are aging. Regardless, safety is your primary concern. That’s when you need to contact a home improvements Contractor to ensure safety and independence for yourself or your aging loved ones.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that approximately 36 million elderly people slip or fall each year, causing severe head or bone injuries. Let alone, half of the elderly falls occur due to environmental factors at home.
While you might not notice, at first sight, there are potential hidden risks inside a house. From intricate home designs to poor lighting conditions or slippery floors, much can jeopardize safety for older adults.
But with some modifications made, you can add to their comfort and safety. Whether you opt for extensive renovations or low-cost modifications, home improvements can reduce fall risks and enhance the quality of life for older people.
Recommended Home Improvements for the Older Adults
Safety modifications for seniors may or may not always involve home renovation. You can simply remove slippery rugs, install grab bars, or enhance lightning. To help you, the TriCore Construction team has rounded up the best and most recommended modifications to create an elder-friendly place.
- Set up concrete ramps
Besides the obvious reason of being in a wheelchair, there are other valuable reasons to set up ramps around a house. Stairs inside or outside a home can pose serious threats to older adults who are weak or have balance problems. Experts suggest installing concrete ramps inside the house for easy navigation from one place to another.
For most elders, even a couple of steps on the front door or the backyard can be a bit struggle. So, exterior concrete ramps can help minimize the possibility of weaker adults falling from a height. There are home concrete contractors that offer to build concrete ramps according to your required height. Otherwise, you can also find easy-to-install non-permanent ramps made of rubber in the market.
- Install grab bars and replace knobs
Bedrooms and bathrooms are high-risk areas where older people need additional support. One of the best modifications in such areas is “grab bars” or railing. Seniors, especially those with mobility issues, will be more than happy to use these bars to avoid slips or fall injuries.
At the same time, replace any round doorknobs in the house with lever-style knobs. Again, these knobs will offer enhanced grip and allow fragile seniors to open the doors easily.
- Widen doorways
A necessary home improvement, particularly for elders who use wheelchairs or walkers to move, is widened doorways. Corridors or doors that are narrow can cause problems accommodating wheelchairs, ultimately limiting movement for such people.
Alternatively, there is another convenient option for easy navigation without widening the doorways. “Swing clear hinges” are designed to allow the door to swing completely, providing a wide opening.
- Additions in the bedroom
Unlike younger kids who hate it in their beds, older adults tend to spend most of their time resting on the bed. Obviously, they are weak and get tired quickly. So, a couple of bedroom modifications can add to their comfort.
One such helpful modification is the addition of easy access cupboards or drawers close to the bed. This could mean you drag closer the chest of drawers already in the room. Or get a new one designed according to your needs. In addition to that, make sure to put all the essential daily routine items in the bedroom.
Furthermore, it’s a good idea to make some upgrades to the bed. For instance, a bed with railings or an adjustable lever will make it easier for older people to get in and out.
- Adjust the bathroom
Studies suggest bathroom slips are the most dangerous and common occurrence. More so for the elders who are unsteady or fragile. For that reason, it is crucial to ensure extra safety in the bathroom.
While grab bars provide support for entering a bathtub, there is still the risk of slipping over the edge. To avoid this risk, the best approach is to replace the bathtubs with a walk-in shower. Still, if standing under a shower is a problem, a good alternative is a walk-in tub. These tubs are curbless, allowing people to take a bath on a wheelchair, walker, or a simple waterproof chair. Besides the shower, you also need to consider the toilet seat. Raised toilet seats are built for people who have a hard time standing up.
- Upgrade to slip-resistant flooring
The floor tiles and rugs around the house can determine how safe it is for older people. Especially when wet, slick floors can be extremely slippery. On the other hand, rugs create uneven surfaces that can be a hazard for people with limited mobility. If possible, add carpeting throughout your home and make sure it is securely taped. However, if you have to keep rugs in the house for some reason, it is advisable to add rubber backings to prevent them from rumpling.
When it comes to the bathroom flooring, you can either add an anti-slip coat over the existing tiles or install new slip-resistant tiles.
- Add more light fixtures
With already reduced visibility, seniors can trip over obstacles in a darkened hallway. Moreover, they need maximum light to perform specific tasks. Consequently, adding extra light fixtures around corners and hallways is a helpful yet straightforward modification. To maximize lighting in sitting areas, you can use floor or table lamps to aid in reading and writing.
- Use medical alert systems
Even with all the home modifications, your senior loved one can get into dangerous situations needing immediate help. A medical alert system is a valuable tool to help disabled or older people when an emergency occurs. The alert system involves a wearable device for the arm or neck, with a button to send an alert to the specified emergency contact.
All these home improvement ideas will help you create a safe and viable place for your elderly loved ones. But, if these simpler modifications do not work for you, consider getting your home remodeled so you can have peace of mind. TriCore Construction Company will be happy to assist you in home remodeling.September 13, 2021