As people get older, navigating around the house and carrying out usual daily tasks often becomes more difficult. For that reason, it is important to carry out a few upgrades to make your home more user-friendly. Whether you want to make your home more accessible for yourself or a loved one, here are four steps to create an elderly-friendly home.
Step 1: Start with your exterior
Start by ensuring that the access and walkways to your home are clear from obstructions and in good condition. Replace any uneven or cracked paving slabs with new ones to improve mobility and reduce the risk of trips and injuries. You should also check that your outside area has adequate lighting. Install motion sensor lights so that any walkways and the entrance to your home are sufficiently lit during the evenings. This will also help you feel more safe and secure when returning home after dark.
Step 2: Install a stairlift
In an ideal world, all elderly people would live in single-storey properties that are simple to navigate. However, in reality, many seniors live in double-storey homes that require the use of stairs. As people get older, they are likely to find it more difficult to get up and down stairs and may be more at risk of falls or injury. According to ROSPA, the majority of serious falls and accidents involving seniors occur on steps, making stairs one of the most dangerous areas of your home.
The easiest and most efficient solution to tackle this is by fitting stair lifts in your home. A stairlift provides independence and freedom and allows elderly and less able people to move around comfortably and safely. This means that many people can remain living in their home and don’t have to worry about moving to a single-storey property.
Step 3: Focus on the bathroom
The bathroom is especially dangerous for elderly people and many slips, trips, and accidents occur in the bathroom area. Fortunately, you can make your bathroom more accessible and elderly-friendly with the following simple upgrades:
- Add anti-slip flooring throughout the bathroom and shower area.
- Add a fold-down seat or shower chair to make washing more comfortable and safe.
- Install a telephone in the bathroom that elderly people can use in an emergency.
- Install grab bars next to the toilet, shower, and bathtub to assist elderly people and minimise the risk of a fall.
Step 4: Upgrade the kitchen
The kitchen is another high-risk area for accidents and injuries. Make your kitchen more user-friendly by raising kitchen worktops, mounting the oven and microwave at a reachable level, and installing a pull-out pantry. This will reduce the need to bend down while cooking or preparing food and make the area more accessible. You should also consider switching to appliances with easy to read instructions and adding round edges to your worktops and shelves to reduce the risk of injury while in the kitchen.
Use these simple steps to make your home more safe, comfortable, and accessible for you or your loved one.
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