Age is a glorious thing – we all grow old, if we’re blessed enough.
However, what is not too glorious are the challenges that come with the aging process: the need to make a home more elderly/Senior friendly, the fact that the body always aches in a thousand and one places and the limited vision and often, unwanted matrimony with one’s eye glasses.
However, of these challenges, one stands tall and truly bothersome: making one’s home elderly friendly (and safe) either for one’s own convenience or for the safety and convenience of close relatives sharing your home.
If these are part of your challenges and as a matter of fact, cause you sleepless nights, here are 7 smart – and simple ways to make any home more elderly friendly.
7 Smart & Simple Ways to Make a Home More Elderly Friendly
These tips and hacks are simple and easy enough to implement in one’s own home. Importantly, they are also smart and extremely simple to carry out.
If you’re ready, let’s fire.
1. Provide Enough Light, all through the Home
Perhaps, the greatest challenge of Seniors and the elderly remains their failing eyesight.
In fact, it is estimated that, the majority of accidents that Seniors/the elderly face in the home is as a result of poor lightening, coupled with their diminishing vision.
Accordingly thus, if you’re a Senior – or are looking to make your home more elderly friendly for a friend, your parents or grandparents, the first thing you should ensure to get right is the lightening.
To achieve this, you basically have two options: artificial and natural lightening.
A. Artificial Lightening to Make a Home More Senior Friendly
This is pretty simple and straightforward.
What is required here is to make certain that all light bulbs are replaced when they are due; all light switches are certified working – and importantly, hitherto slightly ‘dark spots’ are properly lighted.
With this precaution taken, hitherto ‘blind spots’ will light up again and the result will be clarity for Seniors who are living in such a home.
With a clear vision, falls will be minimized and overall, domestic accidents will be reduced to a bare minimum.
B. Natural Lightening to Make a Home More Senior Friendly
You should also ensure that you smartly let in more natural light – to enhance vision and supplement the artificial light you had hitherto provided.
This can be brilliantly achieved by cutting low hanging tree branches so that they’ll obscure less sunlight hitting the rooms and passages.
Another smart option to let in more natural light will be to ensure that you lift up your curtains so that sunlight can seep right through the windows and illuminate the way for Seniors who are in need of clear navigation in the building.
Yet still, you could experiment with opening the windows during the day so that both breeze and natural sun-rays can find themselves in.
Finally, getting lighter curtains is also a very smart option that will let more light into your home and guild the Seniors therein accordingly, even if the windows are not opened and the curtains are not lifted.
So much for the provision of light to illuminate the way. Let’s take a look at the second option.
2. Eliminate Steps (as Much as Possible)
This is a bit more challenging to accomplish than the lightening point made above but it is well worth it.
To make your home more friendly and accommodating to Seniors and the elderly, you’ll need to (as much as possible), eradicate the concept of steps.
The reason is pretty straightforward: steps prove tricky for anyone who is more than 60 years old.
However, if you cannot remove steps in your home completely, here are smart ways to ensure that Seniors in your home cope in a great manner:
- Install rail guards or railings so that when climbing the stairs, Seniors/the elderly can hold unto them for support.
- Do not allow more than 5 flight of stairs in a row; this is to ensure that elderly persons using them have ample space to catch their breath during its use.
- Finally, as much as possible, ensure that elderly persons in your home are housed downstairs and all their needs are also downstairs. This will minimize the need to climb the stairs for them.
Let’s now take a quick look at the third point.
3. Install Elevated Toilet Seats
Most Seniors and the elderly experience various forms of domestic accidents when they’re either in the toilet or bathroom.
The major reason for this is that both the toilet and bathroom fittings are to a large extent, never configured for the safe use of Seniors.
If you’re to make your own home friendly to Seniors however, you’ll need to change that – starting with the toilet seats.
The toilet seats, to be adjudged ideal for elderly users, need to seat them in the same manner normal chairs seat them.
This is to ensure that they both seat down with supreme ease and have no challenges getting up after concluding their business.
If you still have a very low seating (or squatting) toilet in your home, the time to effect a change in line with the age of some of the occupants of your house is now.
Let’s take a close look at the next point.
4. Install Grab Bars – Everywhere you can Afford to
However, if you’re an elderly homeowner or have someone who is advanced in age living with you, you should as much as possible ensure that you have grab bars installed everywhere you can afford to.
The reason is simple and straight to the point: they will provide overall stability to an aged person when his/her balance proves tricky.
Properly stabilized, incidences of domestic accidents will greatly be reduced in your own home – much to your joy and satisfaction.
After making certain that you have installed grab bars everywhere you can afford to (especially places where the elderly persons in your home use/frequent), you should turn your attention to proper space management.
5. Manage Space Properly
One of the things that can cause challenges to an elderly person is clustered space.
When you leave things untidy and manage to keep everything out of its place, you’re asking for more challenges for the elderly person or people in your house.
One of such challenges is the probability of a fall that is directly inspired by something that was not put in its proper position, usually, after use.
To avoid this, always keep your home tidy and ensure that everything that is out of place/used is returned as soon as possible.
Further, be sure to make certain that water is kept off the floors as much as possible.
With spaces properly managed in your home, you’ll most certainly notice an increased level of ‘Senior friendliness’ that was hitherto absent, completely.
6. Get Proper Bathtubs
Elderly people, on average, take their bath less.
However, most of the home accidents that involve elderly persons/Seniors happen in the bathroom.
The reason is simple: absence of a bathtub or the presence of an unsuited bathtub.
To avoid this challenge, kindly ensure that you install a bathtub that is ideal for Seniors so that when they use the bathroom (to take their bath), they’ll be assured that a fall is the last thing they’re going to face.
Once you’ve made certain that you’ve fixed the bathtub, turn your attention to the last option: raising your dishwasher.
7. Elevate your Dishwasher. Or, Prepare a Stool
This point is not for every Senior – hence its the very last one recorded here.
However, for Seniors and the elderly that actively engage in the cooking world, there is nothing sweeter and more effective than ensuring that the dishwasher in the kitchen is raised right to a little inches above their waistlines.
This is particularly effective and useful for Seniors who live alone and are still active enough to cook their own meals and do their own dishes.
However, for elderly persons who prefer to sit down, the dishwasher should be brought right to table level so that they can have a smart washing position when they go to the kitchen and desire to clean up their dishes.
Either way, the important thing to understand is that, dishwashers and all things that Seniors/the elderly access on a frequent basis be made to level down to their comfortable heights – and access, if they’re going to enjoy them, or the process of using them.
Wrap up: Must Seniors Always Have ‘their’ Way?
advanced in age constantly wonder why Seniors or elderly persons must always have ‘their own way’.
Why this is often a genuine concern that most often, stems from acute curiosity, it is important to understand that age is a blessing that comes with its own unique challenges.
That being said, elderly persons should always be allowed to ‘have their way’ and things made as easy for them as possible.
It is also important to remember that, if we’re also blessed, we would one day be addressed as Seniors and in need of the very slight adjustments we’re intolerant of today 🙂