Preparing a Home for An Elderly Parent

Home safety checklist

Many children have their parents move in with them when their parents are at an age where they can no longer care for themselves. Having parents at home reduces worry that one will ignore an accident or neglect a health scare.

However, there are a number of things that families can do to make their homes more elderly friendly. Start the safety check process early on, don't wait until your relative or friend moves in. Make the home as safe as possible for them.

Prepare Home for an Older Person

If you plan to move a parent or another older relative into your home, use this simple checklist to ensure it's safe for them to live. Here's a list to ensure they're able to perform daily living activities.

Keep Bathrooms Safe

Since bathroom floors are often more slippery than any other rooms, bathrooms are where the majority of falls happen in the home. There are bars that install next to the toilet to make sitting down and standing up easier, and toilet seats that elevate and have armrests to add more stability. You can also buy non-skid mats to go next to the bathtub and sink to reduce slipping.

Remove Clutter

Keep rooms organized

Items left around the house, particularly on the floor, are a significant hazard for falls. Purchase bins or additional shelving to help organize things without a place and make room for quick cleanups. This is especially helpful for families with children who have a habit of leaving toys around.

Reduce Reaching

Keep items that you know your parent will frequently use on low shelving and leave out a reaching device (available at medical supply stores) for higher things.

Provide a Walker

If your parent has any trouble with mobility, get a walker for him or her to use in the house. Using a walker to get around is much more stable than holding on to the walls or furniture for support.

Hire a Companion or Caregiver

If you frequently travel or are often out of your home, you can hire a guide to keep your parent company. Friends can visit for a few hours of the day to keep older adults from feeling lonely.

Caregivers are also an option if you need to make sure your parent is taking his or her medication or if additional assistance when needed.

Help to Eliminate Accidents

Accidents at home cause the most serious problems for seniors. Falling is the source of broken bones and even death. Pay close attention to the safety signs that point to potential hazards.

Older adults are vulnerable to serious injuries and home accidents. Older bones are often less dense, more brittle and break more easily. A simple fall can become a serious, disabling injury that limits independence.

Walk around your home and check off items or behaviors that give warning signs. By improving the dangerous items, you can make your home a safe and comfortable place to live.

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