While living in their own home may be an option for some seniors, there are things you should consider to make the space safer for your senior parent. Today, we will be sharing tips on how to make a home safer for your senior parent.
But, first, before you purchase items for the home, walk through the house with your senior parent and have them run through their normal daily activities. Jot down the tasks and areas they seem to struggle with. These are the areas you should consider adjusting with them. Make sure they are involved when it comes to any process change. It needs to be easy for them to do and remember. Let's begin.
Please note: the items below are from Amazon.com, and at no additional cost to you, I will receive a referral fee if you purchase an item(s).
Eight Items for a Safe Place for Your Senior Parent
- If there is a two-level or more home, be sure the railings are secured to the studs in the wall. We had my father staying with us, and when he was using the railing, it had separated from the wall because one of the railing anchors was not attached to a stud. If they have issues going up and down steps and you can afford it, you can purchase a chair lift that mounts to the stairs instead of the wall. Some newer homes don't have two railings on the stairs. Adding the additional secure railing will help, as well.
- Keeping your elderly parents on the ground is essential. They should not be standing on chairs or ladders. Using something that will help them stay on the ground and be able to get items that are high or low is very useful. There are different lengths that you can purchase for them. Check out these items below.
- Some older adults have issues holding plates and forks. If the plates, glasses, and forks fall and break, it could be a hazard for your loved one. Swap out their plates, forks, and glasses for ones that are easier to handle. We found that smaller, lighter glasses are easier to hold than large glasses for people who have smaller hands or arthritis. Thin handles on coffee mugs also help with easy grip.
- Bathrooms are a hazardous place for older adults. They can easily fall while doing a simple routine. Some items, like shower bars and toilet bars, should be secured and fastened to the wall. Bars for the toilets also help them get up and down quickly. If you don't know how to install the bars, get a handyman to do it for you. They need to be in studs to make sure they can hold the weight of the person using them.
- Laundry baskets may be challenging to get into, especially if they are deep. If your elderly parent has issues bending, looking for a better laundry basket for them will help them with the day to day laundry chores. Using cloth laundry baskets either that attach to the basket or can hang from a framework nicely. Some laundry baskets also have detachable bag inserts inside.
- Getting in and out of bed is another area that can be an issue with your parents. Try adding bed rails to help them out.
- If they like to cook, you may want to go through their kitchen pots and pans to make sure they are located in an easy to access the area where they do not have to reach to get to in their kitchen. Below are some options to organize your pots and pans.
- Keeping your parents' paperwork and valuables secure is essential. If you have people coming in and out of the home, protecting their valuables and their identity is important. Getting them a safe that can be secured to the wall and a good quality shredder with crosscuts will be very helpful. Remind them to shred their credit card offers and other private mail quickly. On our walk recently, we found several private W-2s and other paperwork thrown on the road from a recent trash pick up. We picked up the items and put them back in the person's mailbox. Hopefully, they got them shredded now. It's a reality that we should all be aware of, just throwing things away doesn't mean they are destroyed. Private Social Security numbers must be protected, and if they wish to get rid of their old tax paperwork, they must shred them for the best possible protection. See the items below from Amazon.com (affiliate).
I hope this list of items helps you and your parents stay safe. Do you have additional ideas you would like to share? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Feel free to share with your family and friends.
Need more ideas to keep your senior safe in their home, visit some of these posts for more tips:
8 Ways to Help Your Aging Parents
***AD*** Boutique Rugs: Looking for rugs? Check out their wide variety of beautifully designed rugs.
18 Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help
If you want to visit our other downsizing posts for seniors, click here.
Sabrina, thank you for all of these wonderful recommendatiosn for ways to create a safer place for seniors. One other product I highly recommend is foam tubing grips for utensils. My late father-in-law had ALS, and we would bring these with us to restaurants, so he'd be able to use the utensils there. Here's a link: https://www.amazon.com/Vive-Foam-Tubing-PIECES-Dexterity/dp/B01MXVPY53
I'm helping my mom manage her abilities right now, so thanks for the post. I will research the bed rails. I think she could use one. I've learned that people don't know that these products (and other) are available. Education is important.
These are excellent suggestions and you've mentioned a lot of things I'd never thought about. Thank you!
These are excellent safety suggestions for elders. When my mom was still in her home, many of the things you mentioned were ones that we had to consider. It got to a point when it just wasn't possible to keep her as safe as we needed to because of her dementia. At this stage, she's in a memory care unit in an assisted living facility. Because of the setup, she has a lot of freedom but all of the safety hazards are removed. We feel better knowing that she's in a safe environment.
This is such an important post. Sadly, I have a friend whose father fell from a ladder and passed away recently. It was quite a shock. He should not have been on the ladder. I think it is difficult to see our own physical limitations, especially when they come on gradually.