Having a multigenerational home can be great. You can make new memories and celebrate milestones together without having to leave the house. You may be in a place where your parents or older family members may have to live with you for their safety.
You may feel confident that you can provide a home that can keep all members of your family safe. Still, when you mix multiple generations, things can get a little tricky. A young child’s needs are very different from that of an older adult. Still, there are ways to ensure the safety of everyone in your household.
1. Opt for Smart Appliances
Some smart appliances can take the confusion out of regular devices. Smart appliances can turn themselves off, which could be a crucial feature if you live with an older family member who might have a forgetful streak.
Once you teach the older generation how to use smart appliances in your home, they may find it easier to remember and follow the prompts than an analog machine. It might also be trickier for kids to find something dangerous about the appliance. If they’re too young to read or understand smart devices, they’re less likely to use them.
2. Secure All Rugs
Rugs may be beautiful, but they can pose a hazard to all generations in your home. Around 72% of falls occur at home, many of them because of loose or bunched-up rugs that can cause older adults to trip.
Rugs can add much in terms of design to your home, so they’re an essential piece of home decor. However, you can still use them without fear by adhering them to hardwood floors. Rugs can be stuck to just about anything with velcro strips, which can make them less easy to trip over because they won’t be sliding all over your home.
3. Offer Privacy
You may choose to convert part of your home, like the garage or a bonus room, into a hangout space for your children. Children and teenagers can get loud, which may disrupt the older adults living in your home. Everyone is entitled to their own space, and to minimize verbal arguments, you may find the best way to give everyone their own space is to change part of your home.
Your family members should all interact with one another, of course. Suppose you have a wing of your house with a private bedroom and bathroom. In that case, you might consider giving it to the seniors who live with you so they can maintain some independence while living with their family.
4. Use Gates
Gates can keep smaller members of the family out of places they shouldn’t be. If you have an area that’s off-limits for toddlers, such as a device that could seriously injure them, gates can prevent them from playing with things they shouldn’t touch.
Home elevators might be a necessity in a home with older adults so they can traverse the floors of your house easier, but they aren’t for kids. By using gates, you can ensure that your toddler doesn’t ride the elevator unsupervised.
Gates can also help keep small children in one area. If you’re multitasking while providing childcare, having a gate to keep kids out of a particular area of the home so they can stay in your sight is essential.
5. Establish “No Running” Rules
Teach your children, and all generations in your home, not to run inside the house. An older adult who runs might find a greater risk of falling and breaking something. While children likely won’t injure themselves if they fall, they can trip adults of all ages if they’re darting around the house and become a safety hazard themselves.
By establishing a “no running” rule, you can set the foundation for other restrictions and teach your children why following specific rules is essential. Adhering to the rules can protect other people and themselves, and the sooner you teach your kids that crucial fact, the easier they’ll follow them.
6. Add Light Sources
While teenagers might enjoy darker rooms, you should keep lighting options around for older adults who can’t see as well in the dark. As people age, they need more light to see well and read. Ensuring that they have enough light to complete their activities can help older adults in your home feel welcome and valued.
Having multiple lamps around the house can help older adults find a light source when they need it. However, you can still have the option of darkness if you prefer dimmer light in any circumstance. Overhead lights can only provide so much light to a single room, but lamps can brighten up those dark corners, eliminating the odds of tripping over unseen objects.
Keep Your Home Safe for All Generations
Childproofing your home is one thing, but ensuring that all generations feel welcome in it is another. Every age requires their own space and their own safety measures to ensure that nobody gets hurt. By making a few adjustments to your home, you can find that a bit of effort goes a long way when it comes to keeping everyone in your household safe and happy.