Elderly Care: Home improvement ideas to enhance safety and independence

As a person ages, it often becomes more difficult for them to maneuver through their home. The culprit may be stairs, excessive clutter, an outdated bathroom and/or kitchen, et al. There are basic home improvements that can enhance the quality of an elderly person’s life and allow them to live independently in their home for as long as possible. Below are some tips and ideas for keeping your loved one safe and comfortable in their own home.

  • Lever door handles and faucet handles that operate easily with a push
  • Adjustable closet rods
  • A night light in bedroom
  • No scatter rugs
  • Handrails on both sides of staircases and outside steps
  • Brighter staircase lighting
  • Large rocker light switches that turn on/off with a push
  • Electric outlets 27 inches above floor
  • Peephole or view panel in front door
  • Walk-in shower with grab bars and portable or adjustable shower seat
  • Hand-held adjustable shower head
  • Non-skid surface for both tub and shower floor
  • Grab bars by the toilet and tub
  • Tilting or full-length mirror in bathroom
  • Bathroom telephone that is reachable in case of a fall
  • Adjustable countertops or lower counter for work space in kitchen
  • Rounded kitchen counter tops
  • Sliding shelves in cupboards, lazy Susan in corner cabinet
  • First floor bedroom and bath allow living entirely on one level if necessary

General home safety tips for seniors

  • Consider a medical alert or a buddy system
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and smoke detector on every floor
  • Use extreme caution when smoking
  • Always get up slowly after sitting or lying down
  • Wear proper fitting shoes with low heels
  • Use a correctly measured walking aid
  • Remove scatter rugs and tack down all others
  • Remove electrical or telephone cords from traffic areas
  • Avoid using slippery wax on floors
  • Wipe up spills promptly
  • Avoid standing on ladders or chairs
  • Have sturdy rails for all stairs inside and outside the house
  • Use only non-glare 100 watt bulbs (or greater wattage)
  • Make sure that all staircases have good lighting with switches at top of bottom
  • Staircase steps should have a non-slip surface

Encompass Senior Solutions “ currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa ” provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today for help with your senior care needs.

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“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”