According to the US Bureau of the Census, only 5 percent of seniors over the age of 65 occupy nursing or assisted-living homes. This statistic shows that a majority of elderly adults are living at home either alone or with their families. With the growing senior population, it is becoming more important to focus on home modifications to provide a safe and convenient living situation for your loved ones. Here are some of the must-have modifications you need to turn your home into the best home for your parents or grandparents.
Halls, Doors, and Ramps
If your loved one relies on mobility aids to include walkers and wheelchairs, it is important that you consider how he or she will navigate through the house. Widened doors and hallways are both essential to getting these devices through the house as well as ramps to get to higher areas. Depending where your electrical outlets are in these areas, the cost for expansion could vary.
The kitchen has areas that must be modified for elderly residents. Your loved ones must be able to reach everything in the kitchen as it can be dangerous if they are reaching for electrical appliances that are too high. Therefore, you will need to lower the height of counters and sinks so that it can be easier to reach from their height -whether they are standing or seated in a wheelchair.
The bathroom is the most dangerous place for slips and falls so it is very important to make sure there is enough lighting and grip. You will want good lighting in the bathroom so that seniors will be able to see water or puddles on the floor which may prevent slips. You may also want to install a walk-in shower or walk-in tub for safer entry. If you don’t want to get a walk-in shower or tub, you can also modify your existing one with safety bars and/or a bath bench to prevent injury while bathing.
One thing to consider is a home with universal design features. These features are flexible so that you can adjust them for everyone in the home to use. For example, you can have adjustable light dimmers that provide different light settings for people with reduced vision as well as others in the home who may want lower lights. You can also get counters that can be adjusted according to whoever needs to use it. These adjustments can help integrate a home for whoever is living there.
Cost and Funding
Although some of these modifications can be done for about $150 – $2,000, some projects can be quite expensive. You may want to look into financing options or loans to cover the costs. If you have any questions or would like to look at potential funding options, reach out to your local Eldercare resources.