Home Modifications for the Elderly: Save Time, Space and Money
Old age shouldn’t be something that we have to fear. To live long enough to get old, actually makes you one of the fortunate ones, because there are so many who are tragically taken before their time.
There are aspects of getting old which can be pleasant. You’ve reached a point where you no longer have a huge amount of responsibilities and you can pretty much just spend the rest of your life relaxing.
You have untold amounts of wisdom and knowledge that you can pass on to your family too. But of course, for a lot of people these positive aspects are very much outweighed by the struggles of being old.
Your body is starting to fail, you become less mobile, you have less energy and your wits may be failing you a little bit too. Sometimes basic daily tasks like making food and going to the bathroom become difficult, and you need to rely on other people more than ever.
Assisted living facilities can be amazing for those who reach that stage, but not everyone is comfortable with that. Many people would prefer to live out the remainder of their lives in their own home.
If you have a loved one who fits into this category, they can still have a high quality of life in their home, provided a few modifications are made. And you can set their home up well without sacrificing much time or money.
For a lot of older people, this is where they’re going to spend most of their time. Again, the elderly are often lacking in energy and mobility which will result in some of them not straying too far from their bed.
So it’s a good idea to keep certain daily use items in the bedroom so that they don’t have to wander around the house to acquire them. In addition to that, making some updates to the bed itself can be very helpful.
You can get beds with railings which will make it much easier to get in and out, or perhaps ones that can be adjustable. In the sense that you can raise both the head and the foot of the bed to reach the optimum sleeping position.
Also, you could look into having a commode chair in the bedroom. This will essentially act as a toilet if getting to the bathroom is a difficult operation.
The act of stepping over the edge of the tub can be very difficult for an elderly person and then getting up and getting out of the tub can actually be pretty dangerous, especially with how slippery it might be.
In addition to that, standing up in the shower for 10-20 minutes isn’t necessarily a viable option either. So one of the best adjustments that you can make is to have a shower or a bath seat. And There are many options which are just waterproof chairs you can place in the shower or tub.
But you can take it a step further and get a chair which can actually be adjusted. One which can be sat on while it’s high, then lowered into the full tub where the act of washing can be that much easier.
Also you may need to make adjustments to the toilet itself. Raised toilet seats can often be very helpful for those who have a hard time standing up. There are several different factors to consider when picking the best raised toilet seat, such as how much space you have and if there are railings or padding necessary.
Ramps are not something that everybody is going to need, but they work well for a lot of elderly people. Just aside from those who are confined to a wheelchair, the act of climbing steps can be tough in and of itself.
Getting in and out of the house through the front door, as well as getting out into the backyard can all be a big struggle that would be lessened significantly by the installation of a couple of ramps.
For a young person, falling isn’t exactly an issue, unless we land awkwardly or hit our head or something, but for an older person whose body is weak and broken down it can be quite dangerous.
A ramp can help to minimize the possibility of that.
Medical alerts are one of the best technological advancements that have been made for the elderly in the last few decades and it’s something that everyone should invest in after a certain age.
In line with what we just discussed, there are certain occurrences which are much more dangerous for an elderly person than a young person, such as a fall, and they are things which will often require immediate help.
Similarly, older people may be affected by unexpected medical trauma which needs tending to and they might not be in a position to call for help themselves. A medical alert system will often come in the form of a button they can strap onto their arm, or a little remote they can carry around.
It’s a device which will send an alert to family or neighbors or even nearby medical facilities who can then come and help out when there is a serious problem.
I think no matter how healthy someone is or how well they have taken care of themselves, a certain amount will have to change when old age comes around. With the right upgrades and modifications however, they can still maintain a high quality of life in their own home.
About The Author: Jordan Jacklyn: Jordan fully enjoys her editor career living a quiet life with her pack of dogs. She’s also a writer with a Ph.D. in Business Administration. She occasionally organizes workshops with a view to help young and aspiring colleagues.
Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash
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