Creating a Senior-Friendly Home
By Penny Martin | November 2021
Around 26% of seniors live alone, with the rest living with partners, roommates, and family members. In many cases, seniors will move in with family members as they get older. Before this happens, though, you’ll need to prepare your house and make it safe for your senior loved one. Here are several modifications you can implement in your Toronto home to lower the risk of issues associated with the elderly, such as falls, a major cause of disability, and death in older people.
Eliminate Risk Factors
- Bathroom: Many seniors lack strength in their arms and legs and often struggle with balance, making it challenging to lower themselves onto a standard toilet seat. Install a raised seat and grab bars, either wall or seat attached.
- Living room: Unsecured rugs and damaged carpets are a major cause of falls in the home among seniors. The safest thing to do is to remove the rug and replace the damaged carpet. To keep your loved one having to bend down, have your plug sockets raised to a more accessible height.
- Kitchen:Update your lighting. Rocker light switches are a good idea as they use the whole hand. To eliminate harsh light that can be hard on the eyes, replace standard light bulbs with LED ones.
- Bedroom: To make it easier for your loved one to get in and out of bed, install bed rails on either side of their bed. If the bedroom isn’t close to an easily accessible bathroom, you can place a commode in the room.
- Stairs: Unless you live in a one-story house or your senior loved one has a ground-level bedroom, stairs can be hazardous, especially if they struggle with mobility. Seniors over the age of 85 have the highest injury rate related to stairs. To ensure their safety, installing a stairlift can be the best option.
- Garden: If your loved one’s pet is a dog, ensure your garden is fenced off to avoid them escaping. You may also need to install a ramp with grab rails and widen entrances if they have balance issues or use a wheelchair.
Alexa, Switch on the Light
As people age, they frequent the bathroom more during the night. Using a voice command to turn on the lights will save your loved one from having to search for the switch. They’ll also be able to turn a compatible TV off at night without getting out of bed and even sleep better during the night by listening to music at bedtime.
Depending on your Toronto home’s structure, you may be able to renovate your basement to create a private space for your loved one. It’s best to hire professional contractors to avoid any hassle and ensure high-quality workmanship. Renovation costs will depend on your home’s location, quality of materials, and desired improvements. If you choose to replace or install new carpet to avoid mold development, include sub-floor installation.
Preparation Is Key
Preparing your home before a senior loved one moves in will ensure they settle in quicker, and you’ll both have a lot less to worry about.
Finding the right property to share with an aging loved one can be tricky.
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