When we already have our own families, we may fail to notice that our parents are getting older and their needs begin to change. Their health isn’t the same as before, as well as their agility and balance. If you and your siblings live far away from your childhood home, who would watch over your aging parents?
You can ask them to move in with you, but if they insist on staying in the home you were raised in, you can’t blame them.
It holds a lot of precious memories of you growing up. In that case, you can hire a nurse or caretaker to look after them, but what if the house becomes unsafe for your elderly parents? Slippery tiles, uncomfortable chairs, and sharp-edged furniture could be everywhere, posing slip and fall hazards.
To avoid putting your dear parents at risk, a home remodeling project may be necessary.
Change the flooring, furniture, and bathroom fixtures. You can also remove your old bathtub and replace it with a walk-in bathtub for the elderly. This enables them to bathe in a tub without worrying that they might slip and fall.
If your flooring tends to be slippery when wet, you would definitely need to replace it with a non-slip type. One of your options is a carpet.
The soft material reduces the impact of falls, which may happen especially with their visiting grandchildren running around.
Moreover, the temperature of carpet flooring remains constant, even in the middle of winter or summer. Your parents can walk barefoot comfortably no matter the season.
But if one or both of your parents are in a wheelchair, consider cork instead of carpet. Cork allows the wheels to spin smoothly, unlike carpet in which the wheels might get stuck. It also provides a cushiony surface. This flooring is also a low-maintenance type.
For the kitchen and bathroom, you can choose sheet vinyl. It’s water-resistant, affordable, and some variants have no seams where water can pass through.
Invest in a recliner because it aids in breathing problems during sleep, as well as improve blood circulation in the legs. Lift chairs will also be a good investment if one or both of your parents find rising from a seat difficult. As for the upholstery, choose microfiber or something similar.
For their beds, replace it with an adjustable type, or have it converted into one.
It would work like a recliner that promotes better breathing and blood circulation. Make the headboard and bases cushioned as well, and invest in a mattress that provides optimum support.
Replace sharp-edged tables with round-edged ones. This will also be beneficial for your little children that will visit from time to time. Make sure the heights of the tables are appropriate for your parents, too.
As for storage furniture pieces, make them easily accessible without having to bend over. Fasten shelves to the wall to secure them and make sure drawers and cabinets have handles.
Place thick rugs and non-slip mats on the areas where slips are likely to happen, such as the shower. Install grab bars beside the toilet, in the shower, and by the tub, so your parents can hold on to them while the floor and their feet are wet.
If you don’t have a detachable showerhead yet, have one installed, so your parents can use the shower even while seated. Make the shower curb-less as well, so they can move from a wheelchair to a shower seat with ease.
Raise the toilet’s height, especially if your parents no longer bend their knees as much. If you have an ordinary bathtub, you can convert it into a walk-in type or just buy a ready-made unit.
Even if you aren’t at home with your parents anymore, you can show them your love and care by making sure their house is comfortable and safe. Check on them frequently to monitor their health and situation. They will surely appreciate regular visits from their children and grandchildren.