Making Your Home Elder Friendly IIJul 13 2016
As a follow-on from our previous blog post, we will continue to outline tips for ailments of the elderly in particular with regard to making their home a more friendly place. Our earlier piece focused on the benefits of self storage for an older person, and here we will show you some extra things that can be done to improve the experience of the older person in his or her home.
Very common issues that lots of us will face in our later years relate to mobility and dexterity. Mobility and dexterity issues can result from diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, all of which are very common among the Irish older population. These diseases significantly impair mobility as well as dexterity and can have a massive impact on a person’s quality of life and safety in their home. Fortunately there are many solutions and aids to improve the suitability of the homes of those people who struggle in these areas. Some helpful ideas for home modification include clearing walkways and ensuring adequate space for safe mobilisation and installing rails throughout the home for balance. For carrying out day-to-day activities there are numerous specialised gadgets and appliances on the market that are helpful for people with impaired dexterity, some examples are grips for can openers, shirt button unfasteners and specialised door handles. By making small adjustments a person can feel independent in the home and safe to remain in the home rather than move to a higher dependency living facility.
If mobility is a particular issue that an older person is struggling with, we have come up with some mobility aids you may want to consider for an older person living at home:
Firstly, if stairs is an issue that cannot be avoided in the home, the installation of a stairlift may be helpful. There are often grants that can be accessed for this type of thing so it is a good idea to check this with your healthcare provider. Detrimental accidents can happen on stairs and it is an obstacle in the home that must be made safer or avoided altogether by the older person if possible. Putting double hand rails on either side of the stairs is a simple way of improving the safety of a stairs, providing extra support for the older person.
If vision is an issue, and it may be for a large portion of older people, it is essential that the lighting in the home is adequate to prevent lapses in vision and slips and falls. A brighter home is also likely to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, particularly if the older person has difficulty with getting outdoors.
Converting a bath into a walk-in shower is almost essential for an older person. A bath-shower combo can be one of the most dangerous obstacles in the home of an older person. Non-slip mats are also recommended both inside and outside of the shower.
If there are rugs in the home, ideally get rid of them! Or use else industrial tape to tape down the edges of carpets and rugs and prevent falls and trips.
A person’s home should be a place that they feel safe and comfortable. Our needs change as we age and this is something that will affect us all. Fortunately, there is a lot that we can do to help make the home elder friendly and prevent accidents. Small adjustments can go a long way to improving quality of life! Never underestimate the power of self storage!!