It is human nature to care for our parents. When parents get older, there is the prospect of them moving back in with their kids. While the children may be more than willing to accept their parents into their home, their house may be less forthcoming. Like it or not, many homes in the Ottawa are not safe for aging parents. This becomes abundantly clear when tackling issues of mobility within the house. With that in mind, let’s review some of the ways you can make your home safer for an aging parent.
1. Design With A Purpose
Mobility within a home serves a variety of purposes. Chief among these is the ability to navigate the house in case there is an emergency. Having a clear fire-escape route should be your top priority when designing around an aging parent. This can mean a wide range of things, including proper ramps if your parent is in a wheelchair, a widening of the doors, and fire extinguishers. Also, consider how reliable your handrails are and possibly replace them with a sturdier alternative that an aged loved one can utilize with all their weight if the need arises.
2. Consider Lighting
Even the most mobile houses can become dangerous if poorly lit. With this in mind, try to make hallways in particular well lit. This will help aging parents navigate the house and reduce the chances of falls or other injury. In addition to hallways, focus your attention on porches, outside walkways, and stairways. Having more than one light switch can make accessing the lights easier for an aged parent, saving them the risk of navigating a room in the dark while looking for a switch.
3. Make Your Bathroom Friendly
When responding to the call of nature, aging parents may be in a rush to use the restroom. Making your bathroom friendly is one of the best ways to also make your home safe. Installing grab handles in the bathroom is a popular and easy way to make the bathroom more accommodating. Non-skid mats are also a cheap and effective way to make the bathroom less slippery, reducing the chances of a slip and fall. Finally, consider things like shower chairs and bath benches for when they shower as this can reduce the stress they feel and reduce their risk of injury as well.