Do you live with an elderly person or are you entering this stage of your life? Follow these tips to adapt housing for older people that we explain in this article. Making precise changes will help ensure safety and give them more independence..
Prioritize the safety of older adults
With old age new needs arise in people, one of them is to have a home in which they can move safely and with the least amount of risks.
It must be considered that during this stage the senses begin to deteriorate. And, aside, other situations appear such as less mobility, memory failures and more diseases. Therefore, the house where an elderly person lives must be adapted to this.
The ideal would be to make the modifications in advance. In this way, possible accidents that could occur later are prevented. Plus, doing them ahead of time will allow you to spend less than they might in the future.
Talk to your trusted company to start planning the renovation of bathrooms , kitchens and bedrooms, which are the most critical areas. Experts will guide you through the changes that need to be made in senior housing .
To start planning, the first thing is to consider the special conditions of each person; for example, if you have some type of disability. There are also general changes that are key to ensuring the safety and comfort of any older adult.
Eliminate risks in the home of an elderly
The basic changes should focus on eliminating the risks that may be in the current home. There are elements such as stairs, bathtubs or carpets that are dangerous for older adults.
In this sense, some of the changes we recommend making are the following:
- Install a good lighting system, so that it helps improve the visibility of the elderly. Also, this includes switches that are easy to locate and within reach of people.
- Use night lights inside the house. That is, lights that allow the person to be located in the dark -when the rest of the lights are off-, without affecting their rest while they sleep.
- Eliminate rugs and carpets that are not well attached to the floor. These elements can be the cause of accidents and trip falls.
- Make sure cabinets and shelves are at the right height. That is, it is not necessary to use stairs or get up a lot, nor have to bend down.
- Stairs are one of the most dangerous elements for older adults. Therefore, if there is one in your house, install a stairlift so that you can go up and down without problems. It will also be useful for people in wheelchairs.
- Remove any obstacles in the house that could cause an accident. Sometimes there are decorations or other items that are unnecessary or misplaced.
Tips for adapting housing for seniors
Adapting the house to be suitable for older adults does not mean making it not feel like home. On the contrary, this could make them feel uncomfortable and it is not the intention of any reform. Rather, it is about providing them with a welcoming home that is safe for their day-to-day life.
Older people begin to depend on others for activities that they used to do themselves. With the necessary elements in your home it is possible to give them a little more independence.
The person, for his part, will gradually adjust to the changes; For this reason, they can sometimes be done progressively. One way is to renovate one room at a time, starting -for example- with the bathroom, which is the place where most accidents occur.
When it comes to caring for the elderly at home , make sure that all spaces are tidy and there is no overload of objects. Organize the cables, include handles or elements that they can hold on to, place chairs where they can rest, etc.
But above all, don’t forget to give it that feeling of home. To do this, include valuable objects and memories of the person, ensuring that they do not become a risk for them.
If it is a home for people with disabilities , there are reforms that will be necessary to improve their mobility and increase their safety.
Do you want to have a safe home for the elderly ? Follow the tips below. We will divide them into the different rooms of the house, starting with the most used.
How to reform the bedroom for older adults?
This is one of the most important places when renovating because you may spend a lot of time here and it is your resting place.
The main element is the bed, it must be comfortable and have the appropriate height. If it is very low, it is likely that the person must make a lot of effort to get up. If you have mobility problems, you may also need some kind of support to help you get in and out of bed.
At night, the bedroom will be dark and if the elderly person has to walk to locate the bed, an accident can occur. To avoid this, install light switches at the entrance and at the bedside.
Keep only necessary furniture in the senior bedroom to prevent tripping. And the cabinets should also be the right size and tidy. Medications and other useful items should be within reach.
Avoid rugs, if they are used they must be non-slip and well fixed to the ground.
Renovations in the bathroom of an elderly
Water and moisture pose a hazard in the bathroom for older adults. A fall at this stage can bring many health problems.
Therefore, to increase safety in this space, use non-slip mats. Replace the bathtub with a shower tray, as the latter is easier to access.
Place bars for the person to hold on to while bathing. There are also cases where it is useful to place them near the toilet to make it easier to get on and off.
As for bathroom floor tiles, choose non-slip ones for added safety. A good alternative is to place a dehumidifier, since this device will help to avoid humidity on the surfaces.
Adapt the kitchen of an older adult
Another important room is the kitchen, especially if the person is in charge of making their own food.
All the elements of the kitchen must be accessible and keep the cupboards in order. One recommendation is to place sliding doors in these since they cause less risk of accidents.
Gas stoves are not recommended for the elderly because they can miss a leak. Remember that being older can fail the senses, including smell. That is why it is convenient to replace them with an induction one.
Also, another must-have item in a home for an older adult is a smoke detector in the kitchen. So that it warns of fire danger in case the temperature rises.
Choose countertops that are easy to clean. Similarly, appliances should also require simple maintenance.
Reforms in the living room
This space is another of the most used by the elderly to entertain themselves and spend time with their family and friends. As in the rest of the house, order must prevail so that they can move easily.
There should be enough space between the pieces of furniture so that they pass between them without problems. These, in addition, must be comfortable and ergonomic.
Place a phone in the room, within reach of the older adult. Another room where you should put a phone is the bedroom. Thus, if the person has an emergency at home, it will be easier for them to communicate by having it within their reach.
If the house has stairs, the ideal would be to prevent the elderly from having to go up and down frequently. For example, your private bedroom and bathroom could be located on the lower level.
As for the stairs themselves, you can fit a stairlift, which allows you to go up and down easily and with little effort.
Stairs should be well lit and each step should be the right size so you can safely place your feet. It will be useful for the elderly that you have a switch at the beginning and end of the stairs.
Other aspects to take into account are the size of the doors. These should be wide so that if the person uses a wheelchair they can pass easily. As for the exterior, consider using ramps to improve accessibility to the house.
Adapted housing will improve the quality of life of older adults. These are some modifications that you can make, but it is important to take into account the conditions of each person to make the adjustments.