Improving the quality of life for senior citizens is a top priority for families and healthcare providers across the globe. Fortunately, there are many steps that family members and caregivers can take to create a safer living environment for seniors. One of the best ways to promote safety and enhance the quality of life is to make some minor changes to a senior citizen's home. Below are some of the modifications that you can make to a home to improve the quality of life for senior citizens.
1. Install ramps to enhance mobility. Installing ramps in locations where there are steps facilitates mobility for seniors who use wheelchairs and walkers. You can choose from a wide variety of permanent or temporary ramps to ensure that you select the type of ramp that best meets your needs.
2. Repair uneven pavement and flooring. Uneven pavement an flooring can hinder mobility and lead to trips and falls. You can enhance mobility by repairing cracks in your flooring and pavement. Also, fill any potholes and remove small tree roots that may protrude upward from the ground.
3. Install handrails inside and outside the home. Installing handrails throughout the home is one of the best ways to help prevent falls. Handrails that feature grips are ideal. In addition to facilitating a secure grip, they can help prevent burns that can arise when seniors grasp an outdoor handrail that is extremely hot due to heat and sunlight exposure.
4. Replace slick floors with slip-resistant flooring. You can help prevent slips and falls by removing rugs that can buckle and install slip-resistant flooring throughout the home. Good choices include textured tile and carpet with a short, dense pile. If a rug is an absolute necessity, you can use double-sided tape to make sure that it remains secured on the floor.
5. Reposition electrical sockets to a more accessible level. Bending down to access an electrical socket can increase the likelihood of a fall for a senior citizen. You can avoid this pitfall by raising electrical sockets to a level that is easily accessible for senior citizens who are confined to a wheelchair or whose mobility is limited.
6. Install a raised toilet seat. Raising the toilet seat roughly 9cm accomplishes two goals. First, a raised toilet seat facilitates sideway transfers from a wheelchair. Second, it is easier for people who are not using a wheelchair to use the toilet. Models with built-in arms are good choices because they enhance stability.
7. Reposition high cabinets to a more convenient level. Removing high cabinets and reinstalling them on a lower level helps prevent accidents by eliminating the need to reach for items or stand on a step stool to access items. If you are not able to reposition cabinets, be sure to reserve cabinets in the highest locations for items that are rarely used.
8. Install additional lighting inside and outside the home. There should always be adequate lighting both inside and outside the home. LED lighting options are good choices because they have a longer average lifespan, and help conserve resources by consuming less energy than other forms of lighting.
9. Widen doorways to accommodate wheelchairs and mobility equipment. You can widen an existing doorway in several simple steps with just a few supplies. Widening doorways helps to create a more open living environment and makes it easier for seniors to navigate their way around the home.
10. Ensure that your shower is wheelchair accessible. Even the tiniest bathroom can be modified to accommodate a wheelchair. Or, if your bathroom features a tub instead of a stand-up shower, you can invest in a shower chair or convert your bathtub to a walk-in tub.
There are many small steps you can take to modify a home and improve the quality of senior living in Houston and the life for a senior citizen. By following the steps above, you help prevent accidents and reduce the pressure on healthcare providers. Additionally, you create a safer more secure living environment for senior citizens who wish to remain in their homes and retain their independence as long as possible.
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