If you are getting older and feeling less safe in your home, we hear you. If you live with an older person and want to ensure home safety, we hear you. If you have an elderly parent that you are responsible for but you don’t live with, we hear you. My 87-year-old grandma has lived with my mom for the last 10+ years. As my grandma has gotten older, I’ve noticed how much her needs have truly changed. She takes a lot of pride in doing the laundry, it’s like her love language. When my mom bought her house last fall, she made sure the laundry machines were on the main floor. This way, my grandma could do her daily wash without having to go up or down a flight of stairs. This is just one example of changes that have been made to make her life easier. While not necessary in terms of safety, it was necessary in terms of mental health. Prepping the safety of your home for loved ones will, in turn, protect things they find joy in. Everyone’s needs are different, and we all require unique things to help us feel safe and happy. There are several ways you can start to prepare your home! Some of these items might require costly upgrades, while others are things you can do for a minimal cost. Let’s take a look at some places to start.
Secure the rugs
Rugs are a tripping hazard no matter what your age is. Your feet get caught, or the rug slides around on the hardwood if you step the wrong way. You can purchase a gripper to put underneath your rugs at almost any box store. The grippers are fairly inexpensive and will make help reduce sliding rugs and carpets. It’s not a bad idea to just throw away (pun intended) your throw rugs. They are more dangerous than they are nice to look at.
Light up your stairs
Like rugs, stairs are another hazard for just about anyone. Adding lights to your staircase can relieve stress quickly. You can buy motion sensor lights that mount on the wall along your staircase. While we’re on the topic, it’s not a bad idea to add motion sensor lights around your bed. It will make waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom much easier! Another option, although more expensive, is to install lighting under each stair. We have to give it to movie theatres, which had this figured out a long time ago!
Consider the floor
This usually requires a more expensive upgrade, but it can certainly be worth it. Swapping out high-pile carpet with low pile carpet is a great fix. Patterned rugs or carpets have also been known to cause folks with not-so-great vision to feel the floor is uneven. Look into solid colours to minimize the concern and confusion.
The great outdoors
My grandma loves to be outside and in the fresh air. Taking a 5-minute walk to the mailbox is one of her favourite things to do. If this sounds like you or someone you love, check your driveway for cracks. You will often find new ones on the driveway every spring after the snow melts. Another outdoor consideration is the yard. It’s good practice to do regular clean-up of things like hoses, gardening supplies, and roots to prevent tripping.
Things like plates, bowls, coffee mugs, and glassware are typically found on shelves or in cupboards way above the counter. But in the case of homes with elderly folk, it’s helpful to move these items to an easier-to-reach location. While you’re at it, walk through other areas of the house. Take notice of things that seem difficult to reach. Are these things used regularly? If yes, put them somewhere that is easier to access!
The well-being of our ageing parents and loved ones is paramount. With some TLC and a bit of research, your home can be safety-proofed in no time. There are many different avenues to visit when looking to prepare your home for older folks. And we have only just touched the surface on a few! If you need help selling a home to transition your elderly loved one to a better place, we’re here to help you. Please fill out the contact form below and we will get back to you very soon.