3 Home Renovations for At-Home Care: Keeping Your Home Accessible and Safe

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We’re all going to get older one day. And though we may not want to think about this simple fact of life, it’s a truth that we must all accept. As such, it can be hard to watch our parents or loved ones growing old and even harder to see them becoming unable to care for themselves.

Each year, thousands of our elderly citizens end up in nursing homes or care facilities. And this is often due to the inability of (or lack of) family to care for them. And this also has its own share of problems, as many nursing homes have been known, on occasion, to be unsafe spaces for our loved ones. But thankfully, there are a multitude of alternatives to nursing homes, one of which is renovating your own home to make it easier for your older adult to function in that space.

If you have an elderly relative or loved one who needs help getting around and you’re considering at-home care, consider renovating their home (or your own) to suit their changing needs more effectively.

Here, we’ll explore a few ways you can plan for renovating your home with your older adult in mind.

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Home Renovations for At-Home Care: Keeping Your Home Accessible and Safe

Add Railings for Home Care

Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon to walk into an older adult’s home and see railings in places that you otherwise wouldn’t expect. And this is because our elderly citizens often need help walking.

Falling becomes a serious concern once you reach a certain age. In fact, after the age of 65 (on average), your reflexes and agility have already declined significantly. And even the slightest slip and fall can cause major contusions, or it could break or dislocate bones and joints. 

If you’re wanting to make your home or the home of an elderly loved one safer, a best practice is to install ergonomic railings to help mitigate falling. 

Places to consider installing railings are along stairways, near steps of any kind, along hallway corridors, and in bathrooms and showers.

Ramps 

Many of our elderly loved ones have such a problem getting around at old age that it becomes difficult or nearly impossible to walk up or down steps. Additionally, some of our elderly are confined to a wheelchair or need to use a walker to get around. 

If you or an elderly loved one have steps leading into doorways, consider removing the steps and building a ramp instead. Ramps allow an older adult to ease up a slope without having to bend or contort to a degree that they’re no longer able to. And along these lines, a ramp allows for an older adult with a wheelchair or a walker to easily navigate into the home. 

Widening Rooms and Corridors 

Today, a standard home isn’t built for a wheelchair to enter a doorway with ease. In fact, some doorways are too narrow for a standard wheelchair. 

The same is true with hallways and corridors. Though a basic model wheelchair may be able to narrowly fit down a hallway, this usually makes for a tight squeeze. 

In addition, a home with many walls and zig-zag pathways can make it difficult for any older adult (regardless of their physical limitations) to navigate through. 

If you want to make your home or the home of an elderly loved one more accessible and safe, widening the doorways, hallways, and removing a wall or two can provide for a much safer environment.

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This option is the most costly out of all the measures listed here. However, you can remove walls as long as they’re not load-bearing or supportive structures with little difficulty. And opening up this space will not only give your home a more modern feel, but it will also make it safer for your elderly loved ones to move around it during their golden years. 

Our parents and elderly loved ones were once responsible for caring for us as we learned about the world as children. And to do anything other than to care for them in their later years would be irresponsible and unkind. So make sure your elderly loved one is as comfortable as possible: they have done the same for you, and they would likely do it again.

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