When you put a lot of work into your home, you want everyone to feel welcome—including loved ones who might have a hard time getting around. Aging is a part of life, but it takes extra effort to accommodate seniors with changing needs. Use these tips on preparing your home for elderly visitors so everyone feels comfortable.
Provide Easy Access
When you’re expecting anyone who might need help, make sure your entrance is manageable. Even a single step might be too much. You can purchase a half step to make it easier, or a ramp that you can remove and fold up when not in use. If you like the idea of something sturdier, you can rent a longer ramp with handrails. You might not be able to do anything about the width of your doorways and halls for wheelchairs. But you can remove rugs that present tripping hazards. And removing furniture you don’t need can open up the room for easier navigation.
Modify the Guest Room
You can make improvements to your spare room to benefit any guests that stay over—especially when it comes to their safety. Lighting is probably the biggest concern for visitors who aren’t familiar with the layout. Plug in nightlights so they can get around in the wee hours. Brighter light in general is a good idea in this room, so add some chic lamps throughout. You can find a bedside lamp that only requires a touch to turn it on. Consider investing in an adjustable bed so guests can use a remote control to raise their head or feet. People with back problems could use the boost to get out of the bed, and it looks like any other mattress when it’s flat.
Improve the Bathroom
Renovating an entire bathroom is a bit much. But a few of these tips on preparing your home for elderly visitors could prove useful. You can add a grab bar to your bath or shower that helps prevent slipping. If your toilet features a lower seat, you can replace it with a “comfort height” model—or you can get an add-on seat riser for when you need it. Do you still want style? You’re not alone. Look for ingenious additions like grab bars that look more like towel bars and toilet paper holders. You can also find assist bars that combine with shelves for storage.