Home Modifications for Aging in Place
When modifying a home for an aging parent, consider changes that will improve safety and mobility without changing the home’s overall appeal. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Remove thresholds at doorways and widen hallways to accommodate the use of a wheelchair or walker
- Lower light switches for easy access from a wheelchair
- Upgrade shower or tub in the master bathroom to a walk-in design
- Add a raised toilet seat to the master bathroom
- Add railings to stairways; remove or replace ragged stairway carpeting
- Remove clutter
- Add more lighting in hallways, bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas
- Upgrade carpeting or flooring to minimize slips and falls
- Remove bathroom and bedroom locks to avoid accidental locking from inside
- Install anti-scalding devices in bathrooms to avoid getting burned when bathing or showering
- Purchase a fire extinguisher and keep it within easy reach in the kitchen
- Install home automation devices (smart thermostat, automated lights, etc.)
Some of these modifications are easy and inexpensive to make while others are more time-consuming and costly. By taking steps to upgrade your loved one’s home, however, you can have greater confidence that your parent will be living in a safe and secure environment in their golden years.
Once you’ve made improvements to the interior of your parents’ home, consider exterior upgrades that will improve home safety and security. You may need to declutter your parent’s garage to make it a safer environment or handle landscaping issues that pose a threat to the home, such as tree branches too close to windows or dead vegetation that could catch fire. Here are a few other ways you can fortify the exterior of your parents’ home to enhance safety.
- Inspect windows and doors for faulty locks; install deadbolts on doors to enhance security on the property
- Invest in security bars for sliding glass doors to make forced entry impossible
- Install outdoor security lights with motion sensors around entranceway and the front and backyard to deter trespassers
- Make sure boxes of large ticket items, i.e., new TV, sound system, etc., are broken down before putting on the street for garbage pickups (unbroken boxes could draw the attention of burglars)
- Encourage your parent to befriend their neighbors so they can help watch out for one another
- Warn your parent to report suspicious behavior in their neighborhood, i.e., strangers driving around, door to door salesmen when soliciting isn’t allowed, etc.
Hiring a professional caregiver for your aging parent is yet another way to enhance their security and safety. Call Sunny Days In-Home Care at 724-260-5186 today to see how we can meet your loved one’s needs.