Given that the senior population is growing with every passing year, there’s a good chance that many of you reading this could end up living with your parents as they age.
There will be some scenarios where they would be better off under 24/7 care, of course. But if you want to help them avoid going into a care home, you may wish, instead, to invite them to live with you. However, it’s a little more complicated than you might think.
Right now, your house is probably set up perfectly to meet your needs - and those of your family. But an aging parent brings different needs into play, and you are likely to put them into consideration. With this in mind, here are a few suggestions for you to adapt your home when an aging parent is moving in.
Bathroom Safety - An Essential
As sciencedaily.com states, when you get older, your strength in the arms, legs and hands begins to decrease. And that means your parents will be a lot more unsteady on their feet than they were before. To counteract any possible danger, it’s vital that you can provide them with a safe bathroom - which could possibly be the most dangerous room in the house for them.
Whether they are getting in and out of the bathtub, or just using the washing unit or vanity area, bathrooms can be slippery and pretty much always have hard surfaces that will hurt if fallen on.
Grab bars in the bath - and possibly on the walls - elevated toilet seats, and non-slip rugs or mats are all recommended.
Mobility and accessibility
You’ll also need to think about making it easy for your parent to get around. As pointed out over at hinchong.com, an elevator or lift could be a handy investment for them if you have the budget available. But the reality for most people is that a stairlift might be the more affordable option.
You may also need to consider ramps to lead into the house, and if your mom or dad is in a wheelchair, there could be some significant work ahead in giving them enough space to move around in when they are indoors.
While your sense independence can undoubtedly take a hit as you grow old, it’s not something your parents will enjoy. So, when you plan their bedroom, be careful about what you do to it, and try to focus on giving them some privacy.
Bed rails are a good idea - not only will they help them get in and out of bed, but they will also prevent falls off the mattress in the middle of the night. If your folks really suffer from mobility issues, then you could think about getting them a hospital-style bed. While not cheap, they will help your parents sit up in bed when they need to, and some of the new models out there can even help them stand up.
Finally, think about making life as easy as possible for them. Look into the Internet of Things and find out how it can improve the lives of seniors, and give them a real sense of independence.