Coming to terms with new limitations can be tough, but when your parents are ageing and become unable to do the same tasks as they could before, it can be a necessary step to improving their quality of life. Redecorating their home or assisted living home with comfortable and mindful designs and furniture can help achieve better accessibility and safety.
Here are some recommendations that are simple changes to make to your elderly parent’s home to help improve safety and comfort.
Low sitting furniture like platform-style beds and low seat couches can make it difficult for seniors to get on and off of, especially if they have joint or mobility issues. Say goodbye to the low sitting furniture and choose something with more height. If possible, try and find furniture that specifically fits your parent’s heights. When they are seated on the bed or couch, their feet should be flat on the floor, and the furniture should be at the same height as their knees. This is the optimal height for ease of movement.
Slippery surfaces are a danger to elderly folks, as falls are one of the biggest risks. Over 250,000 people aged over 60 are hospitalised each year in the UK alone due to falls. To combat this and mitigate the risk of slips and falls, make all of their floors slip-resistant. You can do this by adding non-slip mats under rugs (or removing the rug altogether – they can be a tripping hazard too!), or fully replacing smooth tiles with anti-skid flooring. The extra grip will reassure you that your elderly parents can walk around the house without the fear of slipping.
Put objects in reachable places
Consider moving objects and furniture around to accommodate your parent’s physical and mental limitations. Think about their daily routines and what things they need to use often. You might find that you need to move these objects to a place where your parents can see them, to help remind them of what they need. It is quite common for elderly people to start to lose their memory, so try to help them out as much as you can by making everything easy to access.
If your parents are starting to show signs of dementia, make sure to check out Dementia Australia on dementia.org.au for helpful information about how you can help your parents.
Also, don’t put anything on high shelves or at the very back of deep cupboards, because overreaching for things could be the cause of an accident.
Have good lighting
Lighting is a critical aspect of having a safe home for seniors. A dimly lit room can be the cause of bumps, falls, or other accidents, so keep their home well-lit. Ensure there’s sufficient lighting in every room of the house, including hallways, stairways, and entryways, both inside and outside on the porch or front steps. Furthermore, ensure all the light switches work, and there aren’t any burned out bulbs.
When you’re upgrading the decor in your ageing parent’s home, ease of use should be a priority. Consider the difficulty of turning doorknobs and handles with arthritis or other joint pain and make the switch to lever-style hardware. Any knob that requires a turning motion can be painful or difficult to use, as can knobs that are too small. Large, lever-style knobs are easier to grip and use, so think about using those in place of doorknobs, dresser drawer handles, cupboard handles, or faucets.
These furnishing changes are all senior-friendly and help make living at home safer for your elderly parents. Choosing the right furnishings and decor for comfort, ease of use, and safety can make their home more comfortable and help them prepare for any upcoming challenges in life.
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