When you have an aging parent in your home, you’ll want to make sure that their needs are met and that they feel safe and comfortable at all times. It can be tough to manage, particularly when your parent suffers from certain disabilities or cognitive issues. As your parents get older, you may be wondering how to best care for them in their home. Making your home safe for aging parents will give them some independence, which can help with their mental and physical health while also giving you peace of mind that they’re in the right place.
Thankfully, there are several things you can do to make this process easier for yourself and your loved one. Use the following tips to help your aging parent stay safe and happy at home while they continue to age gracefully and with dignity.
A Professional Can Be Helpful
If you have an aging parent in your home, hiring a professional caregiver can be helpful. Having caregivers nearby allows parents and children alike to tend to their needs while still having time to enjoy each other’s company and live full lives. Caregivers also assist with daily activities so that elderly adults do not have to worry about carrying out personal tasks on their own.
Invest in Their Possible Activities and Entertainment
Whether you live with your parents or have them visit from time to time, it’s important to think of ways where they can entertain themselves while in your home. Things like a spare TV and DVD player that they can use whenever they want might be a good idea—especially if you’re planning on doing things around your home or are busy at work most of the day. You can also take care of your yard and hire a tree service to ensure every plant and tree is well-maintained. They can spend time relaxing outside, reading a book, or even taking a nap under the trees.
Keep All Their Important Belonging in One Place
Before you do anything else, you must keep your aging parent’s essentials in one place. By doing so, it will be easy for them to find their medications, eyeglasses, spare change, and other belongings. Additionally, putting these items all in one place will make it easier for you to keep track of what they have and need. Buy cabinets and some drawers, and label them too, so it would be easier for them to locate their things.
Invest in Locks and Safety Equipment
An easy way to make your home safe for elderly loved ones is by installing locks on doors and windows. It may seem extreme, but if you’re worried about getting locked out of your house, you should consider investing in locks and safety equipment. Have automatic locks installed on all exterior doors; many older adults struggle with fumbling keys in their hands. Keep a spare key hidden nearby in case one accidentally gets thrown away or lost. With their safety, apply non-slip wax on floors to prevent accidents from happening due to slips and falls. If necessary, install grab bars on shower walls so that seniors have somewhere to hold onto when they need it most.
Listen to Their Concerns
If your aging parent is worried about becoming a burden to you, they may be extra reluctant to ask for help. Instead of trying to convince them otherwise, try being open and listening empathically. Acknowledge that it’s normal for them to feel hesitant. Then assure them you’re willing and able to help however possible—and that their concern is completely reasonable. Your parent must know they don’t have anything to fear when asking for assistance.
Know Where All the Dangerous Areas Are in Your Home
Ensure that your elderly parent knows where all the areas in your home are hard for them to navigate. These are areas where trips and falls may occur. Examples include stairs, doorways, moving furniture, thresholds, and rugs. Take a tour around your house with your parent and identify these areas so you can make them safer. If possible, remove any items which could cause someone to trip or fall. If it’s not possible to remove a tripping hazard like a rug or throw rug from certain rooms, then cover it up with carpet or linoleum flooring.
Have Better Lighting in All Rooms
Older people are more likely to develop falls, which is why having proper lighting in all rooms of your home is important. Get rid of that single lamp and put up some ceiling lights instead. It’s a simple change that can have a significant impact on safety. And consider getting motion sensors for hallways or putting extra railings in. And don’t forget about things like ramps for wheelchairs or new handles for doors!
If you’re caring for an aging parent, don’t be overwhelmed. Having a plan in place and anticipating potential problems will make it easier to handle your parents and maintain a safe environment for them. With your home prepared, you can focus on spending time with your loved ones, not worrying about them tripping on something or falling down some stairs.