It’s inevitable that we will all age but that doesn’t mean you have to be at the mercy of that process. For yourself or a loved one, there are important areas you can still have a lot of control over, even affecting the quality of life for an elderly person. Healthy living is a wise start but we want to share about a matter that’s even easier to put in place: the home environment for a senior.
You may carry one living in your home for the rest of your life or you can have an elderly parent move in with you at some stage. For either of you, new furniture like a recliner chair in the living room and changing small things in other rooms can make a world of difference.
Where you live has such an impact on your mindset, health and attitude towards life because it’s what you experience on a day-to-day basis. Home should be a haven. Ensure a safe, comfortable and still stylish space that helps one live with zest and dignity.
No elderly person should be trapped inside, not being able to move into the sun on a regular basis. Fresh air and sunlight can be beneficial to general health so anyone still being able to move around, whether it’s walking or using a wheelchair, should have a smooth path out the door. There shouldn’t be any possibility of wheels slipping or feet stumbling.
Begin by removing possible hindrances like pots and other décor. Then install non-slip strips on surfaces that can become slippery, for example outside stairs that may be wet after the rain. A rail next to stairs will be a bonus to hold onto and if wheelchair use becomes a necessity, remember you can now purchase portable wheelchair ramps to use wherever needed.
You may have to change up the furniture in the home, for example move glass tables out of the rooms where the older person will move around. You don’t want an unnecessary accident or risk accidental cuts on sharp edges that will take time to heal. Remember, older skin becomes less elastic and the skin and blood vessels underneath will injure easily.
You can also use furniture to improve a senior citizen’s lifestyle by making sure he or she is comfortable at all times. A recliner chair can be the ideal spot for reading or napping, much better than a hardback chair or a deep armchair they struggle to get up from. You can also incorporate smaller furniture pieces and move them slightly apart to improve maneuverability, especially with a wheelchair.
You don’t have to give up the comfort features or aesthetics of your home to get this right. You can simply replace your sofa with a recliner lounge set in the colour that fits your room’s colour palette.
Also, make sure the bed is a comfortable height to get into and out of, so they don’t always need assistance at night. A sense of independence does wonders for one’s outlook on life.
Unfortunately, the bathroom is a major risk area, but you can prevent many accidents. Begin with improving lighting so they can always see clearly. Then provide storage on a reachable height, so they don’t have to stretch. This prevents muscle strain as well as losing their balance.
For bath time, low risk surfaces are easy to create by simply adding non-slip mats in the bath. If you can do some renovations, a handrail is important and you can go the extra mile with a walk-in bath.
Even just tidying up the bathroom and removing clutter can do more than you imagine since there will be less chance of stumbling over something.
Small Items That Make a Big Difference
Above you saw that even small changes can make a huge impact. Additional tips that are easy to implement are removing all throw rugs, to avoid someone stumbling over one. And do everyone in the house a favour by exchanging existing doorknobs with lever handles that are much easier to open, with little exertion.
Their Sentimental Items
Caring for yourself or a loved one in old age isn’t only about the physical aspect because emotional wellbeing is equally important. When a parent moves in, allocate a space where they can keep their favourite items that carry sentimental value. It must be easily accessible and if you can add some of it to the living room, it can help them feel more connected to the new environment.
Having a different lifestyle in later years can still mean having the best in life. Be smart about preparing a space for the realities of being older and you’ll see you can have fewer risks and frustrations. Then, simply enjoy making the most of each day.