Getting older happens to everyone, and as the world has an aging population, it is becoming more common for younger people to care for their elderly relatives in their own homes.
This can be a bit conflicting, as younger people do not usually have the need for the things and adaptations in the home that older people do. While you should always aim to base what is needed for your elderly loved one on their physical and mental abilities, there are also some simple and effective ways to make the home environment comfortable and safer for them.
This article will look at the key rooms in the home and additions that you can make which will help your elderly relative to be more comfortable and safer at home.
The Living Room
The living room will be a key area where you and your elderly relative socialize. It can be worth investing in a set of grab rails in your living room area to help them get up safely. When they are sat in a chair, it can be worth investing in a neck pillow, usually, one that can be heated as well as some warm blankets to keep them comfy on colder days.
The bathroom is where most accidents happen for older adults, primarily because the surfaces are slippery. It is well worth investing in some adhesive coverings for your bathtub and the flooring in the bathroom. Also, put in grab rails around the bathroom to help your loved one crouch onto the toilet or get out of the bath. Ensure that everything they need, like towels and deodorant, is within easy reach, too, so they don’t have to lean.
Based on their mobility, your elderly relative should have a bed that is slightly higher, which will allow them to go from sitting to the standing position with ease. If they suffer from conditions like restless leg syndrome, it can be worth putting a rail around the bed so they do not fall out. Grab rails are something of a necessity if your loved one has limited mobility, and even an electric blanket (which they can control the temperature of) can be of value in the bedroom.
In the kitchen, you should invest in electronic can openers if your loved one has arthritis and aim to keep everything on the countertops if possible. This will prevent your loved one from needing to tiptoe or reach items that may be on higher shelves or squatting down to get things out of cupboards. If necessary, be sure to set timers on ovens and microwaves so that nothing gets burned, as, being honest, most forget about food from time to time!
Second, to the bathroom, the stairs are the next most common place where elderly people fall. You should aim to put in grab rails or even an electric stair lift if your loved one has issues with arthritis or movement. For nights, it can be worth having motion detection lights on the stairs, so your relative will not need to turn lights on if they need to use the bathroom in the dark, which will help them to see and navigate better.