Whether or not we want to admit it, our parents will someday arrive at the point where they need our assistance. Caring for aging parents isn’t something we like to consider-especially when we think back to the days they took care of us–but it is part of life, and not something we should dread or delay.
Here are 5 minor home modifications you can make today to assist your aging parents
1. Add lighting along the hallway floor
Statistics tell us that falling is the leading cause of serious injury for senior citizens. According to the National Council on Aging, “Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs.” The good news? Falling isn’t an inevitable part of aging. Taking a few simple precautions can make a big impact. Adding lighting along a hallway floor, for instance, provides a path to the restroom and makes maneuvering in the dark less of a hazard.
2. Install new cabinet hardware
Specifically, swapping out old door and drawer handles for new ones that are C- or D-shaped will ease arthritis pain. Round knobs on doors and drawers present unique challenges for individuals with inflammation and/or joint pain. This little change can make a big difference.
3. Put grab bars in the bathroom
In an article outlining the need for grab bars, Consumer Reports once called the bathroom “the most dangerous room in your home.” Why? Statistically, more falls happen in the bathroom than any other place in the house. Note: Grab bars can easily be disguised as towel racks if your parents are self-conscious about this addition.
4. Create a built-in seat to the shower
Adding a built-in seat to the shower is no longer a rite of passage for the 65+ crowd. Today, adding a seat to the shower is the recommendation for anyone wanting to convert a bathroom from safety hazard to personal spa. Home gardening magazines and television shows tout it as a good idea. And why not? Having a place to sit in the shower cuts down on falls resulting from light headedness or slipping on wet surfaces.
5. Switch out door handles and light switches
Install rocker light switches and/or lever door handles to make it as easy as possible for your parents to open doors and turn on lights (and avoid tripping hazards!) The brighter the room, the safer the space.
Whether or not your parents need some or all of the above right now, it won’t hurt to make minor modifications over time that they can slowly adjust to while they are still in good health. Preserve their independence by–
- Adding lighting
- Easing discomfort
- Eliminating danger
- Taking precautions
- Removing hazards
We’re here to help
Here at the Long Term Living Association (LTLA) we want to help you navigate the complexities of caring for aging parents. We are a diverse group of experts from across all professional channels–ready to handle everything from developing retirement income strategies to helping install the grab bars in the bathroom (and everything in between!) We understand what caretakers need, and we are committed to being your primary point of contact for the full spectrum of services–legal, housing, financial, home care, and care coordination–over the long haul.
Specifically, Dave Muti is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist who is standing by to help you with any home modification you may need to make. Whether you have questions or would like to have Dave help you make modifications to your parents’ home, please call us to discuss ways we can assist you as you assist your aging parent. Call 1-888-697-9947 or schedule an appointment today!
Our Home Modification Specialist