When family members and loved ones become older, a host of challenges may arise. And if an elderly relative is living with you, be it your mother, grandfather, aunt, or other elderly relation, it can become quite difficult to care for them in the proper way. One of the first things you can do to make it easier for them (and for you) when they are living in your home is to make some home adjustments and modifications.
Whether an elderly relation of yours is moving in for the first time or you have an older family member who is already showing signs of physical difficulties, it is important to make certain modifications to where they will live. Mind you, these modifications need not be too major – even small changes can make a big difference.
Adjustments to the Living Area and Bedroom
The flooring of your home can play a big role in the overall safety of your elderly loved one. If you have a home with hard concrete flooring, you can simply place a commercial low-pile carpet on the living area’s main flooring in order to prevent a hard fall.
You can also make certain adjustments when it comes to the coloring of your living space. Many elderly adults experience a condition called macular degeneration, which can affect a person’s main vision. To make it easier on your elderly relative, keep your living space as light and open as possible. You can do this by repainting darker walls to a lighter color and by finding ways to let in more natural lighting. If your elderly family member is in a wheelchair, you should also make it a point to adjust certain doorways to at least 3 feet in width for easy access for a wheelchair. If you can, modify their bedroom door and change it to double doors so a bed can easily be rolled out in case there is any emergency.
The electrical outlets in their room play a big part in their comfort as well. What you can do is raise the electrical outlets to at least 18 inches from the floor so they can easily plug an electrical appliance whilst they are sitting down (without them having to bend).
Adjustments to the Bathroom
The bathroom which your elderly relative will make use of needs to be adjusted as well. As you may know, it is in the bathroom where major slips and falls can occur, so you have to make sure that the bathroom is a safe place for them. The first thing you can do in the bathroom is to place grab bars in the shower area, along with a stable bench where your elderly relative can sit. You can even opt for a bench which is built-in rather than one which can be removed. If your elderly family member is coping with arthritis, you can also make changes to the bathroom’s fixtures – instead of faucets that have to be turned, you can opt for levers which they can easily push up or down. It would also be better to have a toilet which has a lever for flushing rather than a button to be pushed down.
When you have an elderly relation living in your home, it is essential to give them the care they need. Fortunately, you can always get additional assistance from professional home care agencies. If you live in New Jersey, for example, home care agencies in NJ are plentiful – you just have to know where to look. Of course, it is also essential that you choose one which can give your elderly relative the best possible care when you are not available.