How to Adapt your Home to Senior Living
Most seniors want to spend their golden years in their lifelong homes and in familiar communities. This option is appealing to the elderly because this means that they can keep their circle of friends in the neighbourhood, shop at the same stores, and, most importantly, they can keep their usual daily routine at home.
But, as circumstances change, there comes a time when staying at home can become a source of fear and anxiety rather than comfort for them. This is the time when you should adapt your home to senior living.
What to consider
If you are planning to update your home to include senior-friendly amenities, there are essential questions to ask yourself: What might cause a slip, trip, or fall? What can be changed to make navigation or clean-up easier? Examine all the significant areas of your home -- from the bathroom to the kitchen, and even the laundry area.
To make daily life more convenient for you and your loved ones, here are some innovative ideas to help you adapt your home to senior living.
Before you begin
The first thing you must do is assess your home and determine what needs to be changed before any of the major health issues develop in your elderly residents. A single-story home is much easier for seniors to navigate, but if moving houses isn't an option, then you may need to install a stair lift so that they can get up and down stairs more easily.
The kitchen is the centre of the house and one of the more dangerous rooms for seniors. Since we spend a significant amount of time here, it can be difficult when someone, especially a senior, is unable to move quickly. As technology progresses, we can now remodel our kitchen to help seniors take advantage of the space.
If your kitchen is located on another level of the house, consider moving it to the ground level. Items that are being used daily, such as cookware, must be kept in lower cabinets that are easier to reach even from a wheelchair.
You may also want to consider modernising your faucet with lever-style fixtures instead of twist knobs to eliminate the need to grip, and also get rid of the possibility of forgetting to turn the water off. Motion-sensor faucets are also recommended for seniors.
Lowering the countertops is also helpful. A cost-effective solution is to buy a 30-inch-high corner table or kitchen island that can fit a wheelchair underneath and still be at the right height for food preparation. Emergency grab handles should be placed within reach, along the edge of the countertops.
A lot of home installers can place a long single handle along the entirety of the countertop. It will help break a fall and reduces the likelihood of the falling person reaching for an unattached appliance or utensil, causing further injury.
For senior citizens who have lost strength and mobility, using the bathroom can be challenging. Going in and out of the toilet can cause frustration and anxiety, mainly because the presence of water everywhere makes them feel unsafe. Bathrooms with added safety features including grab rails, high toilet seats, handheld shower, and bathtub are must-haves.
The bathroom is one area in the house where you should focus a lot of your safety modification efforts for seniors to live comfortably. Australian providers of engineered solutions for access and mobility like Bendtech™ can be trusted on this. We provide high-quality products at competitive prices for Hospital Care, Disabled, Aged Care, Commercial, and Home Assist markets enhancing the quality of everyday living solutions for the community.
Just like in the bathroom, mobility is a common issue for the elderly when it comes to their bedroom. Having a senior-friendly bedroom can help preserve their independence and happiness. A modulated bed with motorised adjustments and bed rails on either side should be installed. You may also consider buying a manual bed ladder, attached to the footboard to offer leverage for an easy pull upward.
Their walk-in closet must have plenty of room to manoeuvre a wheelchair if necessary while hanging racks. Drawers must also be lowered, so it will be easier for them to reach their stuff. Lastly, seniors will need a bedroom phone for them to make a phone call easily in case of emergencies.
The Living Room
Even the larger spaces in the house, such as the living room, can be hazardous for our seniors who are having a hard time moving around. A senior-friendly living room must have adequate space for their necessities like a cane, walker, or even a wheelchair. Getting up from chairs and sofas can be a significant problem for seniors as well who have a problem with muscle strength. It's best to replace chairs that are too low to get out quickly or tables that are too short of reaching while seated.
Adding cushions to their chairs is also necessary so they can sit up straight comfortably. Grab bars must also be installed beside where they usually sit, and along walls so it will be easy for them to walk on other areas in the house.
The Outdoor Area
Most seniors in Australia love staying outdoors to socialise. That's why you must also ensure that the outdoor areas are safe and comfortable for them. You may already have features that enhance safety, but you can still do some improvements and make it even more welcoming to senior family members.
It's important to have shade for seniors in the garden, especially in summer. Their skin is more sensitive to sunburn, and they can more easily suffer from heatstroke. Comfortable and stable seating must be added for those who get tired easily. Some elderly have physical restrictions that make bending difficult, so having a garden bed to an accessible level can be helpful. You should also consider installing threshold ramps for easy access in and out of the house.
Senior-Friendly Home with Bendtech™
Adapting your home to senior living isn't difficult, and with the help of safety experts, seniors at home can enjoy their remaining years living comfortably.
In Australia, many state and territory governments provide financial support for those modifying a home for the elderly. The process involves undertaking a home assessment and occupational therapy assessment to understand what level the person requires modifications and support in the house.
If you are undertaking renovations to adapt your home to senior living, make sure to use the best products to guarantee the safety of your elderly. Wherever you are in Australia, the best place to buy stainless steel handrails, grabrails, shower seats, Ergonomical backrests, and other products is Bendtech™.
Since 1992, Bendtech™ has been providing elderly Aussies with solutions that enhance the quality of their lives. Our high-quality stainless tubular products will help make your home the best fit for senior living at competitive prices.Contact us at 07 3290 4007 and our experienced team will help make your home senior-friendly.