10 Ways to Update Your Home to Accommodate Your Aging Family Members

safety, walk in bathtubs, bathtubs, canada, usa, alberta, british columbia, saskatchewan, manitoba, safety, elderly, seniors
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Life continues to march on for everyone, and that includes aging family members or friends who might visit you in your home.  Whether its an older friend in town for short time, or grandparents in town for the holidays, there are a few things you can do to help make their stay with you safer and more comfortable.

1: Replace dangerous flooring

If your older family member has balance issues or drags their feet, tall carpet and slick surfaces can pose a danger. Avoiding trips, slips, and falls is essential to the safety of your loved one.  Look for loose tiles, damaged laminate, unsecured carpet edges, or small ledges as these sorts of situations can cause problems for older guests in your home.

2: Secure area rugs

Area rugs often add a nice accent to rooms around our house, but they can be a serious hazard to guests with balance or mobility issues.  Unsecured area rugs can easily slip underfoot, and for an elderly guest who already has balance concerns, that can be very dangerous.  Secure area rugs with a non-slip pad or grip tape to ensure they stay put when friends and family walk on them.

3: Add a shower bench

Showers are often a pleasure we take for granted, but for older friends and relatives, standing in a shower on a wet, slippery surface while bending and twisting to wash themselves is a serious challenge.  Adding a shower bench to your shower is very affordable, and could help your elderly guest keep their independence while staying with you by allowing them to shower without assistance.

4: Upgrade to a walk-in bathtub

If you have frequent visits from older relatives, you might consider upgrading to a walk-in tub or shower.  With convenient features for anyone who uses them, a walk-in bathing area will give elderly guests a safe and comfortable place to clean themselves.

5: Light up your stairs

Stairs can be one of the biggest challenges for older people.  For people losing their mobility and balance, stairs can present a terrifying barrier.  If you have stairs in your home that elderly guests will have to tackle, consider adding extra lighting to make sure visibility is as good as it can be, including lighting on the handrail, and on the stair edges.  Making the staircase as visible as possible makes the barrier less challenging for your older friends and relatives.

6: Make stairs an easy feat

Tile, hardwood, and even carpeting, can become very slippery and pose a hazard older guests with balance issues.  Make sure stairs, both inside and outside your house, have adequate grip on the surface, as well the handrails.  If you have the room, consider adding a stair-assist chair to make stairs even easier for your guests.

7: Use home automation

While you may not think twice about getting up to turn up the thermostat, that simple act could be a challenge for elderly friends and relatives.  Adding automated systems for lights, temperature, curtains, and other aspects of your home can go a long way to making it a more inviting, comfortable, and safe place for older guests.  As an added bonus, smart home automation can reduce your utility bills significantly.

8: Add a security system

A security system can help provide peace of mind if you have to leave elderly guests alone in your home.  Many systems have the option of remote monitoring, which lets you “be there” for your older guests without having to physically be there, and helps reassure them and you that your home and guests are safe and secure.

9: Install grab bars and handrails

Common household areas that seem benign to younger people can present serious challenges to older friends and relatives.  Staircases, bathrooms, hallways, and bedrooms become more dangerous as we age and develop balance or mobility issues.  Extra supports like hand rails and grab bars can make your house safer for elderly guests.

10: Add a bed rail

Even a simple bed can become more dangerous as we age.  While falling out of bed as a youngster might make for a funny story to tell your buddies over beer, as we age, such falls can become far more serious.  Bones become more brittle as we age, and falls from even a small height can be very serious.  Consider adding bed rails to your guest room to help your older guests sleep dafely and comfortably through the night.

Welcoming a loved one into your home can be a stressful situation, but with the proper safety equipment in place, it can be much simpler. Safety Bath Walk-in-Tubs is here to support you and your family, in any way we can to make the transition smooth.

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