The American population is aging, with over 46 million people aged 65 and older currently living in the country. That number will increase by a staggering 18 million by 2030.
For many older adults, living in their homes during their golden years is a priority. In fact, 76% of U.S. citizens aged 50 and older prefer to remain in their current residence.
For older adults, staying in their own home provides a sense of familiarity, comfort, and independence. Things are even better when you make the home a safer place for them. It’s an essential part of caring for aging parents that many people get wrong.
So, how can you create a safe home environment for your parents during their old age? Here are four practical guidelines to get you started.
1. Remove Fall Hazards
Falls are the number one reason seniors get injuries. That’s why you need to find ways to make your home as fall-safe as possible.
Make your home clutter-free by discarding unwanted newspapers, furniture, and other items. Get rid of throw rugs as they lack a good grip on the floor. Avoid stretching extension cords that run across the floor.
Ensure that your parents have non-slip footwear to use when inside the house.
2. Assess the Lighting
As the eyes age, they stop working as well as they used to. It’s easy for seniors to misjudge darkened areas or completely avoid them.
The best way to boost visibility in your home is to update your home’s lighting system. Go through your home and find out whether there are any burnt-out lights that require replacing.
Consider installing new light fixtures where necessary. Test the lighting by standing in one corner of the room and looking across to the other end. Can you clearly see across the room?
3. Check the Bathroom
Another tip for senior home safety is ensuring that their bathroom is safe for your aging parents. A significant number of falls and scalding occur here.
Invest in grab bars for seniors to hold onto when using the shower or the toilet. Place rubber mats in the bathtub to avert slipping. If possible, replace the current bathtub with a walk-in model.
4. Invest in a Medical Alert System
A medical alert system should be part of your caring for aging parents checklist. An alert system helps with timing, dosage, and other aspects of your parent’s regimen, ensuring that your parents take their medication as per their doctor’s instructions. The device can also send emergency messages when needed.
Among the benefits of medical alert systems is that they’re easy to operate. In the event of an emergency, your parents won’t have to waste precious time fiddling with the device. With a single push of a button, the device deploys an emergency message instantly.
Make Home Safety Part of Your Caring for Aging Parents Checklist
One of the most important aspects of caring for aging parents is adapting their homes to accommodate their needs. Ultimately, the goal should be to make the home both safe and comfortable for them to live in.
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