Taking Care of Your Aging Parents? How to Keep Them Comfortable at Home

by Jenn

If your parents are getting older, they might find it more and more difficult to do the things that they’ve always done, including getting around the house. The good news is that you can help. Here are just a few home renovations for seniors that will bring them comfort while still allowing for independent living.

Door Modifications

Doors are one of the first things to think about when remodeling an older person’s home. For starters, standard-sized doorways aren’t usually big enough to accommodate mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, so widening them can help Mom and Dad get from room to room. Doorknobs are another concern: If your folks have arthritis, the turning motion can be painful. Think about replacing their door knobs with push-down levers instead.

Non-Slip Materials

Falls are one of the leading causes of injury among the elderly. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can prevent falls inside of the house. Railings can be installed on walls and staircases; grab bars can be mounted in kitchens, bathrooms, foyers, and anywhere else where seniors move around a lot. You might also want to invest in non-slip flooring. Materials like vinyl, linoleum, cork, and bamboo will provide more traction than stone or hardwood. Carpet is another option, but avoid rugs; anything that breaks the flat, even surface of the floor will become a trip hazard in its own right.

Power Lift Chairs

Power lift chairs look like your standard armchairs, but they’re actually equipped with assistive technology beneath the seats. They can be lifted, tilted, and reclined with the touch of a button, allowing folks with mobility issues to position them however they’d like. Not only does this mean an easier time climbing on and off, but it also means that your parents can adjust their positioning once they’re settled into the seat. Some models, including Pride Mobility Viva Power Lift Chairs, also come with extras like heating pads.

Walk-In Bathtub

A walk-in tub is basically a bathtub with a door. It’ll let your parents shuffle into the tub rather than forcing them to step over the edge. The door is sealed and waterproofed once it’s shut, so there’s no risk of water leaking to the floor, and many tubs can be further customized with things like grab bars for mobility assistance. You can also find a number of walk-in tubs with special features like detachable showerheads, hydrotherapy jets and streams, and whirlpool capabilities.

These are just a few suggestions for helping your parents “age in place.” If they’re still able to live independently, these renovations can help them get around, retain their creature comforts, and keep their dignity in their twilight years.

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