5 Tips for Making a Home Senior-Friendly

September 15, 2019 | BY PHS Staff

More and more seniors are choosing to age in place, which simply means they are remaining in their own homes rather than moving into nursing homes and other similar facilities. Senior home care can make this decision much easier on families. However, they are also living with health challenges that need extra care and attention.

It’s no secret that physical limitations increase with age. According to the Institute on Aging, of men between 65 and 74, 13 percent say they are unable to perform at least one activity of daily living (ADL), compared with 40 percent of men over the age of 85; 19 percent of women age 65 to 74 say they are unable to perform at least one ADL, compared with 53 percent of those over the age of 85.

The good news is, there are modifications that can be made so a home remains senior-friendly. Here are some of them.

1. Switch out Hardware

Most people don’t think twice about turning a doorknob, but to an aging senior, especially one suffering from severe arthritis, this can be a painful and difficult task. It doesn’t cost much to replace doorknobs and faucets with lever-style hardware to make senior care in Gettysburg PA just a little bit easier. Another good choice is to use illuminated rocker switches over standard toggle light switches.

2. Make Floors Slip Resistant

Slippery surfaces pose a high safety risk for anyone, but especially aging seniors. Make the floors slip-resistant with just a few modifications. You can add non-skid mats under area rugs, or simply get rid of the area rugs, which pose a tripping hazard. Eliminate or modify trip points where you can, such as at thresholds between rooms. For seniors who use walkers, consider installing low-pile carpeting to avoid falls, suggests This Old House.

3. Add Lighting

Dim lighting can lead to falls, spills, trips and other dangers. Add nightlights along hallways, in closets, and in kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. If your senior loved one lives in a home with multiple stories, make sure stairways are well lit at all times. To that end, install handrails on both sides of the stairs, top to bottom. Make sure those steps are clearly defined, showing the edge of the tread.

4. Ensure Safety at Landing Places

Entryways to the home can be dangerous when poorly lit or cluttered with objects. It’s easy to become distracted and unbalanced while fumbling with keys, mail, packages and groceries upon coming home. Provide adequate lighting at entryways, and place a table, bench, or other surface to make entry and exit easier.

5. Upgrade the Bathroom

Showers and tubs are dangerous places for those with balance issues. Install grab bars in the shower to make it easy to get in and out. While you’re at it, install grab bars by the toilet, sink, or anywhere else they may need a helping hand. Consider installing a step-in shower to replace the tub. A single-handled faucet control will reduce the risk of scalding at the sink; likewise, a pressure-balanced control will provide the same safety precaution in the shower. Add a hand-held showerhead and or/seat for anyone with limited mobility.

Contact Preferred HealthStaff

Senior home care is made easier when you have Preferred HealthStaff on your side. We offer a wide variety of home care services that will help your loved one, from handyman services to personal assistance services. Contact us today to learn more at 717-642-8500 or 1-866-943-9791.