Renovating Your Aging Parents’ Home
In preparing for your aging parents to stay in their beloved home, you may find that you need to make some significant changes to help them adjust to being less limber than they were in your childhood. There are some steps that you can take which allow your parents to live more safely and to watch after their well-being.
Access Between Levels
If your parents’ home is on an incline and they need stairs to get from the street to their front door, the hillside tram system is one way of making the exterior of your home more accessible. You can also install chair lifts for interior stairwells or additional railings for necessary floor changes. If possible, moving sleeping, bathroom, laundry, and kitchens all to the same level provide extra comfort.
Doors and Bathrooms
Depending on when the home was built, you may need to make changes to the width of your doors in order to allow walkers, wheelchairs, or helpers to easily move through them. Baths and showers should also be modified to minimize slip risk and allow for home help or emergency services to assist in a crisis. There should also be railings in multiple places around the bath and toilet.
Switches and Door Handles
Traditional flip switches and round door handles can be difficult as your aging parents lose their dexterity. Replacing these with rocker switches or additional grips can allow your parents to maintain their independence for longer. These analog changes require less strength and accuracy than their traditional counterparts.
Watching parents who were once strong and powerful weaken and become frail can be frightening. With a few caring renovations to their home, however, you can help them to stay in their home where they feel safe and comfortable and to actually maintain their freedom at home.