Psychology suggests it is essential for the total well-being of aging parents that their relationship with their children remains intact as time goes on. Nowadays, it has become a norm that aging elders and parents live with the families of their children. It is the time that grown-ups show back their love to their parents by providing them this time the comfort of life physically, mentally, and emotionally.
“Whether well planned or a sudden emergency, this a challenging task,” according to Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP.
The first thing we should keep in mind for taking care of our aging parents is to look around our place of abode. If our parents before busied themselves by turning your home into a child-friendly one, it is your time now to turn your house into an aging-parent-friendly home. “Simple adjustments don’t require a lot of money but can make a big difference”, Bryan Oden says.
While each case is unique, here are some of the basic guidelines that you have to keep in mind in turning your house safe and warm for aging parents:
Install Sufficient Lighting
The first problem that aging parents encounter involves mobility. They may not be able to see and recognize stuff around the house that much absent any proper lighting. Most of the time, the primary culprit behind accidentally falls, broken bones, cuts, and head injuries is the poor lighting installed in accident-prone areas of our home.
Add more lighting or better yet, install brighter lights on every corner of the house. Give more attention if the bathroom and the kitchen have sufficient lighting because these are areas prone for accidental slips.
Educate Other Family Members
It is essential that the other family members can follow about why certain house modifications are happening. It is vital that they know that the safety of your aging parents is one of the utmost priority here, so when confronted with some unforeseeable problem, they know what to do first.
Members of the family should know how to call for help should an emergency occurs. Everyone in the household should know where the emergency hotlines are, who to call for help, and the proper and necessary protocols should a mishap happen inside the house. Each should recognize the signs of health emergency and should have adequate knowledge in giving the appropriate first aid. They should also be able to respond without panicking.
Make sure every bathroom in your house is safe for your aging parents. Install proper and brighter lighting, provide non-slip mats, and put grab bars within their reach. Some people opt to put a built-in bench inside the shower to turn it into a step-free entry. Also, check the locks to avoid any possible lock-in incidents.
Consider also how high or low the toilets should be. Low toilets may become a burdensome for them, especially that most of our aging parents have a problem in bending. Keep in mind also where the toiletries are. Don’t put them in high cabinets that would make it hard for them to reach should they need some. Remember that their aging legs and knees make it hard for them to move around, stand up for long, and to tiptoe, especially in slippery places like the bathroom.
Provide Easier Access And Opening
Check your doorknobs and reconsider the sliding doors in your home. It is undeniably hard for the aging parents to open (especially slide-open) and close more massive doors. Take note also springing or self-closing doors that may hit your parents, especially if they have already problems with mobility.
Take an indoor tour of the whole house and check if your stuff arrangement and even the color of the walls are conducive for your aging parents’ relaxation. Repair any cracked furniture and floors. Remove any clutter on the floors. Check if your own children’s toys (balls, bikes, Lego bricks) are tucked correctly in their proper places.
Call Someone To Help
If you still feel that your house is not that safe yet for your aging parents, do not ever be shy to call a professional one to help you in your new home arrangements. You can request any occupational or physical therapists or aging care experts in your area to inspect your house and advise you of what you can do more.
Creating a safe place inside the walls of your home is one of the best things that your aging parent will thank you for forever. More often than not, they may not say this all the time, but the comfort of life starting in the confines of the home is what they always desire. The above tips are not that hard to follow, primarily if we educate the other family members for this endeavor.
“In many instances you will need to contact social services for help determining alternate living and care options for your loved one,” shares Carol Bradley Bursack.