Adapting the home of a senior: our tips
Your elderly parents tell you that they want to continue to live at home but you fear for their safety? Adapting the home of a senior is a great way to allow seniors to maintain maximum independence while remaining in a safe environment. In order to achieve an ideal home design, good preparation and some valuable advice can be of great help.
While there are many excellent reasons for wanting to adapt a senior’s home, the main objective is undoubtedly safety! We want our loved ones to have the safest environment possible to avoid unfortunate accidents.
Among the accidents that occur in the home, falls are very common! According to the Institut national de la santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), each year, approximately one third of Quebec seniors living at home will be affected by a fall. The severity and consequences of these falls vary, of course. In any case, it is still much better to prevent them as much as possible!
Adapting the home of a senior: common areas in each room
When a senior decides to stay in his or her own home, the layout of the house or apartment to make it functional and safe must be done in stages. Whether in a house or in a dwelling, we must try to plan what must be adapted for each room. The same is true for common areas such as corridors and stairways.
Stairways deserve special attention because accidents are unfortunately more frequent there. It is recommended to first ensure that the ramp is solid and easily accessible. If necessary, it is possible to add a second ramp on the other side if it is not already done. This is to make them more secure. The covering of the stairs is also a factor to watch. Make sure it is not a surface that is too slippery. If it is, it becomes possible to cover them with a non-slip coating.
Throughout the home, it is also important to ensure that there is good lighting. Each space should have enough light to keep the area safe. Light switches should also be easily accessible to the senior.
Designing the bathroom for a senior living at home
When adapting the home of a senior who wishes to remain at home, the bathroom is a room that often requires some improvements. These small additions allow for better safety but also facilitate hygiene care and access to the toilet.
Here are some examples of adjustments that can be made to the bathroom of an elderly person living at home:
- Attach a bar near the shower or bath to hold on to if needed;
- Add more grab bars if needed to move around the room;
- Install a non-slip mat in the bottom of the bathtub or shower to prevent falls;
- For the toilet, a raised seat with armrests can be useful for better stability when getting up;
- Although more expensive, the option of an adapted bathtub with a door can be an interesting solution for a senior who is losing his or her independence;
- Other design ideas can be added depending on individual needs and existing facilities!
How to properly design the bedroom of an elderly loved one
When it comes to designing a senior’s home, the bedroom is a priority. It is indeed a central space of the house in which one must feel good! The modifications to be made should aim to make the bedroom a place that is as safe as it is comfortable!
On our list of points to adjust for an ideal layout, we find the fact of :
- Clear the space to move around without the risk of tripping (arrange furniture properly, move plants, etc.) ;
- Choose an ergonomic bed that makes it easier to get up and down;
- If necessary, install handrails on the walls to limit the risk of a fall;
- Ensure that the floor surface is not too slippery;
- Make sure that the floor surface is not too slippery; Secure small rugs, if available;
- Make sure that the floor surface is not too slippery; Secure small mats if they are available; Have small night lights for travelling in the middle of the night;
- Make sure that the various controls are easily accessible from the bed (switches, remote control, home automation, etc.);
- Many additional solutions can be added to the list and implemented according to the specific needs of the elderly person.
The goal is of course to make sure that this room is as safe as possible! But that’s not the only reason. We also want our elderly loved one to be comfortable and at ease in their newly furnished bedroom.
Get personalized advice on how to design a home for an elderly person
We know that such a move can be a demanding task for the family and caregivers. That’s why at Visavie we offer you our help! We will work with you to find the ideal way to set up the home of your loved one. Experienced consultants can visit the premises with you and make recommendations. This approach is, of course, customized to the needs of each individual.
If necessary, we can even suggest different home care services. Home support from a professional caregiver can make a real difference in a senior’s life. Do not hesitate to contact our friendly counsellors at Visavie for more information on this subject.
In conclusion, properly setting up the home of a senior who wishes to remain at home is a very important step. With this attention, your elderly loved ones will be able to continue to enjoy their independence and the quality of life that living at home provides. All without compromising their safety! This will reassure everyone and avoid unnecessary worries.