Freelance Contribution by Jessica Walter.
As you may well know, falls are a serious matter in the elderly, and according to the NCOA are the leading cause of fatal injury. Many of these happen at home, where those with accessibility requirements are living in inadequate environments.
Every year, children of the elderly make various alterations and adjustments to their parents’ homes in pursuit of making them safe. Whilst home modifications for seniors are essential and effective, there are some measures you can take to make the home both promote independence and feel intuitive.
Introducing High Quality Rails
It sounds simple, but introducing rails in areas of the home can be incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons. The homeowner doesn’t necessarily need to be expressly disabled, or diagnosed with an ability that affects their mobility. Having rails in areas like the bedroom and bathroom enable anyone to safely navigate their home and prevent falls that can cause long-lasting harm. Essentially, rails are one of the most straightforward ways to ensure senior’s safety at home
There are a huge variety of rails out there, too, to fit with different home styles and setups. This means the homeowner doesn’t need to compromise the efforts they’ve put into getting the home how they like it, benefiting their sense of independence. No more plain white bars as you’ll see in public buildings.
Creating Wheelchair Accessibility
Again, this isn’t even necessarily a measure that is strictly for those who use wheelchairs. Ramps can provide an easier way to get in and out of the house, as well as for transporting heavy goods where stairs are a barrier to getting purchases into the house. The chances of tripping and falling whilst on a ramp are significantly lower and it also means the house is future proofed in case of any changes in future years.
Just like the rails we’ve spoken about above, the homeowner doesn’t need to compromise design for a ramp, either. There is a wide range of ramp styles so the house doesn’t have to have something dropped into it that isn’t appropriate for the overall design of the house.
Internet of Things
The likes of Amazon and Google have released products in recent years with very detailed voice recognition and incredibly intuitive responses to questions. They can also be tuned for a wide variety of circumstances, including those that might affect your parent. They can act as an early warning system, as well as a way to easily contact relatives. Elderly parents can sometimes need to re-learn new technology, but it’s not difficult to learn and could be very useful in maintaining independence whilst assisting.
Home alterations can be frustrating in the way they change the face of the home, but they are necessary. However, home alterations don’t have to be intrusive and there’s many ways to preemptively make a house independent whilst not compromising style.