Safeguarding Your Home for Elderly Parents

Traditionally, Indian children care for, and often live with, their elderly parents. But what happens if you must go out to provide for yourself and your family leaving your mother or father home alone? Your parent may need some home adaptations, particularly since the risk of dementia can be elevated by something as simple as dirty air in the home. Even minor adaptations can keep your parent active, mobile, sociable and independent. Have a look at some of the ways you can adapt your home for your elderly family members.

Mobility

More than 180 million Indian people are already affected by osteoarthritis and the numbers are on the rise. Similarly, it is a leading cause of disability in the United States according to the CDC. Your parents may experience this condition or something similar which affects their ability to move around the home easily. The bathroom is typically the place where the most dangerous slips and falls can happen so the addition of grab bars can make it easier for your parent to navigate and stand up when in the bath.

Accessibility

The main adaptations to make your home more accessible are to the floors and doors. Typically, wheelchairs require 32 inches of door space to navigate but 36 inches is easier for access without difficulty. Removing the doors may be easier for parents who have a walker but swapping the door handles for lever handles can make it easier for them to open doors. The outdoors may need to be adapted to include a ramp for those with mobility difficulties.

Security

Sadly, an American home gets broken into every 14.6 seconds meaning that some security measures are always necessary no matter who lives with you. Although your neighborhood may feel perfectly safe to you, your parent may need their mind put at ease with some adaptations. Installing a home security system is ideal to protect your whole family but the addition of a telephone in every room could help them feel safer. Locks added to the doors and windows with keys taped to their armchair or somewhere easily reachable will ensure they can lock themselves out of the way in an emergency. Always remember to ensure they never answer the door to strangers.

Comfort should be on the list of your priorities so be sure to ask your parents what they would like to make them feel more at home. Warmth is particularly important as your elderly relatives may feel cold more often. Add some soft blankets to the bed, sofa and chairs and invest in a fire to ensure they stay warm when you are away.