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How to Adapt Your Home for an Elderly Parent

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Young adults often move back into their parent’s homes at some point, whether it’s due to financial reasons or security, but there has been a rising trend in elderly parents moving in with their adult children. The numbers are growing consistently year on year. Adult children have essentially become a safety net for their elderly parents. A recent survey by the Caregiver Action Network found that 65 million people in the USA provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or senior family member. That’s 29% of the population. 

So, if you are considering moving your elderly parent into your home, what can you do to adapt your environment to make it more comfortable for them? 

Lifts

The stairs are one of the most dangerous places in the home, and more than one million Americans injure themselves on them every year, with adults over the age of 85 having the highest injury rates. One sure-fire way to avoid this happening in your home would be to install a home lift. If you’re worried that you don’t have room for a lift, then have a look at Terry Lifts; you’d be surprised how convenient and space-saving they can be. Lifts can fit snuggly in one corner of your home. This would save you having to give up a ground floor room for your elderly parent as the upstairs would still be accessible. 

Bathroom Modifications

As we get older, along with the stairs, the bathroom becomes one of the most dangerous places in our homes. If your elderly parent is moving in with you, it would be wise to make some changes to your bathroom to make it safer for them. Bathroom modifications can vary from simple to complex. One essential thing you can do, however, is add railings and grab bars to key places around the bathroom to ensure your elderly parent can access the room easily. A more complex modification would be to install a walk-in shower/bath, but if you can’t afford this, you can still make changes that will help. Handrails and elevated toilets can be affordable and easily installed. 

Ramps, Rails and Entrances

Installing access ramps and railings to the entrances of your house is one of the simplest ways you can adapt your home for an elderly parent, and it should be one of the first things you do. Ensure that the entrances and exits are always kept clear and be vigilant for any trip hazards. If there’s a crack in your garden path, fill it in. Also, if you have the time and funds, think about widening certain doors. Wider doors ensure a smoother passage for wheelchairs. 

Additional Alterations 

  • Use lever door handles instead of doorknobs; these are much easier to use for someone with mobility issues or ailments like arthritis, and they are relatively cheap too. 
  • Remove rugs. You may love your rugs, but these can be a major trip hazard. Think about moving rugs away from the areas your elderly parent will use. 
  • Add non-slip bathmats to your bathroom. This is a cost-effective way to prevent trips and slips and is especially good if you can’t afford a full bathroom refurbishment. 

Your Home, Their Home

Moving your elderly parent into your home can be a great experience and prevents them from feeling isolated and disconnected from their loved ones. Your parents won’t feel abandoned or forgotten, as you provide them with companionship by opening up your home to them.  

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