As your mom and dad age, it may be harder for them to continue to function like they used to. Mobility declines, hearing and eyesight start to fail, and the risk of falling becomes a real worry. But most people want to avoid long-term care and continue to live independently for as long as possible.
There are a few simple steps you can take to help your parents remain safe at home for as long as possible:
First, take a good look at the lighting throughout the home. Making sure that the hallways, stairways, and bathrooms inside the house are well-lit can help your parents avoid falls. It’s also important to pay attention to the lighting outside the home, along the driveway and at each entryway.
Second, if your parents live in a multi-level home and mobility is becoming an issue, you might consider installing a chair lift. This option can help keep extend your parents’ independence, and make sure they have full access to their home. You may also need to install a ramp as an addition to or replacement for stairs at the entrance to your parents’ home. Be careful, though, you’ll want to check local building codes before you embark on any major projects.
Third, pay close attention to the bathrooms. In addition to adjusting the lighting, you’ll want to make sure that there are plenty of grab bars installed in the bath or shower, as well as near the toilet. Now is also the time to replace free-sliding bath mats or rugs with nonslip versions.
If you’re not sure about what improvements need to be made to make your parents’ home safer and more comfortable for them as they age, you can always find professional help by checking with your local senior center or doing a quick online search.