These days, aging in place is the hottest trend among seniors. They would rather stay at the comforts of their home for as long as possible. You may be uncomfortable with the idea of your senior parents residing in their old home. If they are still capable of living independently despite their old age, then there is nothing much you can do but to respect their decision. But the good news is, you can convince them to allow you to make certain home improvements to make sure their house can better fit their situation.
When improving a senior’s home, your least priority is the value and aesthetics. What you need to keep in mind is to ensure the comfort and safety of your aging parents. Don’t forget about accessibility because the last thing they need is a beautiful home that fails to cater to their specific needs. How can you accomplish these? The following are just a few projects you can consider.
Invest in Senior-friendly Appliances
Not all seniors are comfortable with technology. You may want to give them the best smart home technology there is, but they may not be comfortable using them. This is why it would be best to choose easy-to-operate appliances in their home.
The good news is, there are now many appliances available in the market that are very much senior-friendly. Choose some that with automatic turn-off features. For instance, automatic kettles allow your senior loved one to enjoy their daily dose of coffee or tea. Simple microwaves are a good option for seniors who are not fond of fumbling many buttons at a time. You can also buy dishwashers, washer, and dryers that rest on top of a pedestal so that your elderly loved one no longer need to bend over just to do their dishes or wash and dry their clothes.
For instance, they chose not to replace their old HVAC system. The least you can do is to make sure their system is well-maintained. This way, you can be sure that they will have reliable air conditioning and heating system in their home. Only allow licensed technician from reputable companies to handle your senior parent’s HVAC needs.
Install Adequate Lighting
Adequate lighting is a must for every home. But when it comes to seniors, it becomes a major need since old age can worsen their eyesight. If their home is not well-lit, they can end up getting critically injured. Remember that seniors can no longer afford to nurse injuries. You can prevent this by making sure their home is well-lit.
Opt for smart lighting in your aging parent’s home. Smart lighting makes use of LED bulbs that are eco-friendly and energy-efficient. The lights are dimmable and can come in different colors. This is perfect for your senior parent’s delicate eyes.
With smart lighting, your aging parents no longer need to walk from one room to another just to open and close their lights. They can either use their phone or voice to control the light. You can also program their lighting so that their lights will automatically turn on and off at specific times.
Some tasks require additional lighting. For instance, seniors who are fond of cooking their own meals would find it easier if you add additional light in their kitchen. This way, they can easily and safely prep and cook their meals.
Basic Home Fixes
Most senior’s injuries are caused by falls. But with the right home modifications, you can prevent your loved one from falling. For one, you may not even need to do a major home remodeling just to make their home safer from falls.
Start by removing any clutter that fills their home. Pay attention to the heavily trafficked areas like the stairs, around the hallways, and the common rooms. Get rid of slippery rugs, tripping hazards, and unnecessary floor clutter. Replace all regular mats with non-slip ones, especially in the bathroom.
Walk around the house and see if there are any necessary repairs or maintenance. If they have stairs, make sure the rails are very much secured. Consider replacing their floors. It would also be a good idea to install grab bars around the house, especially the hallways and bathrooms.
Our aging parents may not be vocal about it. But they may need your help to make their plan to age in a place a tad bit easier. Before you make any home improvement move, make sure to ask and offer your help. Explain to them that doing certain home improvements can improve their safety and comfort. This will in turn give put you at ease knowing their home is now senior-friendly enough to accommodate their everyday needs.