In the resent months, I have talked to friends and family that have been come to the conclusion they are going to have to prepare their homes to have their aging parents come live with them. The time will soon be upon them to when their parents will not be able to live on their own. You can used this list for your elderly loved ones who are living on their own also. This list is not everything you can do to your home because everyone’s situation is different.
Safety Checklist for all rooms:
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- Cupboards-Store every day items in easy reach, Which to me is logical for everyone not just the elderly. An item I found very useful after my back operation is a reacher grabber for people that are unable to stoop or reach high.
- Perching stool – A stool in the kitchen can help ease the strain on feet when preparing food at the counter, My mother-in-law uses one all the time.
- Contrasting colors – This might sound a little odd, but having distinctive colors for cooking utensils can help elderly eyes recognize them easier.
- Furniture – It should be arranged so it is easy to walk around freely.
- Lighting – Improving the lighting can reduce the chances of falls and accidents.
- Rugs – Attach rugs to the floor with double sided tape, better yet remove them. Again, reducing the risk of falling if the rug slips.
- Lamps – They should be place within easy reach of the bed. It will eliminate having to walk from the light switch to the bed which can be hazardous.
- Bedrail – These are helpful for additional support.
- Flashlight – A flashlight kept near the bed in case of a power outage.
- Carpet – A low pile carpet can act as a cusion in the event of a fall.
- Grab Bars – These give extra support when moving into and out of the tub. They can also be placed close to the toilet to help with moving on and off it.
- Shower Head – The hand held verity can be very useful for someone that has limited mobility.
- Rugs – Rugs with the non skid backs are great for the bathroom.
- A chair lift – They greatly reduce the risk of falling. However, this can be an expensive option. At the very least have handrails…
- Handrails – Install handrails on both sides of the stairs.
- Stairs – The edges of the stairs should be well defined.
- Have a table available to unload arms easily when walking in the door.
- Door knobs – Lever style door knobs can be very help to those who have severe arthritis.
This is a very basic safety checklist. However, it gives you a good starting place. Another resource you can consider is GCM(see What is a GCM? Here). They are a wealth of knowledge and if they don’t know an answer they can get it for you.
I hope this list has helped you and eased your mind on preparing your home to be safe. Opening your home up to an elderly family member can be stressful but it can be rewarding also.
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