If you live with an elderly person or have an older family member who is moving in with you, then you may need to make no special adaptations to your home to accommodate them. Increasing mobility limitations of tend to come with age and it is often better to make suitable adaptations to your home before they are needed. For example, if you only act to put an adaptation in place because an elderly family member has suffered a fall, then you are carrying it out too late.
It is best to act early and prevent these sorts of problems in the first place by making your home a friendly as possible for older people with limited mobility. What are the simplest things you can do that will help?
Remove Trip Hazards
With older age, so most people find that they are less nimble on their feet. Simple hazards that used to easily avoided can become trickier to get around. Things like rugs that are placed on top of carpets or laminated floors can sometimes flip over which makes them problematic. Either fit anti-slip mats underneath them or — better still — remove them completely.
Convert Your Bathroom
Limited mobility is often most noticeable in the bathroom where getting in and out of the bath is troublesome. The addition of high-grip handles on the wall next to the bath is the most cost-effective way of making the bathroom better suited to older people. If you want to make your bathroom even more suitable, then remove the bath and replace it with an oversized shower cubicle instead. Alternatively, fit a bath with a side door which can be sat in comfortably without having to step over the side of the bath.
Getting up and down stairs is always harder when you get older. Make your staircase easier to get up and down by removing any objects you might usually have on them, such as floor-standing vases. Carpeted stairs offer more grip underfoot than wooden ones. In addition, get a staircase balustrade which makes older people feel more confident that they can support themselves fully as they use the stairs. A balustrade is essential for elderly family members who want to move independently but still feel safe on both storeys of your home.
If your home is dark or you like to keep it cool with drawn curtains and blinds, then it is harder to see how to move around in it. Consider better lighting and turning the air-conditioning on rather than blocking out sunlight. At the entranceway to your home, include more external lighting. Ideally, you should fit sensor lights which come on automatically when they detect movement.