After researching all of your senior care living options, you and your parents have decided that home care is the best option. Now it’s time to prepare your house for proper home care. Below are the basic points that you should be aware of:
Ideally you would want to have their bedroom on the first floor of the house. If this isn’t an option, consider turning a dining room or office into a bedroom. You want to have enough privacy for everyone to feel comfortable. Adding an extra room could easily cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Compared with the costs of assisted living however this might be cheaper in the long run.
Falls can be very dangerous for older adults and can result in a major injury. Make all floors slip-resistant by adding anti-slip mats under throw rugs or remove rugs altogether. Eliminate or reduce trip points like thresholds as they are a potential safety issue as well. If you or your kids are used to leaving objects lying on the floor, it is time to change that habit. Pick a spot for a basket that is out of the way and put all things that end up lying on the floor into that basket.
Replace doorknobs and faucets with lever-style hardware as older adults might not have the strength to use them. You might even want to invest in an automatic door opener or easy window handle.
A dark room is basically an invitation to fall, so make sure there’s adequate lighting not only in every room, but also in the hallways and entryways. Lighting should be bright but not harsh or blinding.
If possible create a situation where stairs aren’t needed as mentioned before. If that’s not an option, install a handrailing and consider an electric stair-climbing chair lift. Either way, having the right lighting in the stairway area is also critical. You want to have clearly defined steps that show where the edge of the tread is.
Grab bars in the shower, tub, besides the toilet or other places where someone may need a helping hand can be a potential lifesaver when it comes to preventing falls. No-slip adhesive strips are great to decrease the risk of slippery bathroom areas and steps. You might want to install a walk-in bathtub as those are easier to step into.
Most important point: try to make it just like home! If your parents have a pet, make room for it in your house if possible. Consider bringing some of your elder’s furniture into your home, like their favorite recliner. This will make them feel more at home right from the beginning.
By: Patricia Madigan