The struggles that many seniors face in day to day living aren’t always empathized by those in better health. For this simple reason, a homeowner with a beloved older person in the house should consider doing a few home renovations that won’t intrude on the family’s lifestyle but will make things a lot easier for the senior. Here are just a few suggestions:
Whether confined to a wheelchair or just moving around with a walker, a step can be a real challenge to the mobility of a senior. Adding a few conveniently placed and appropriately sloped ramps – a 1:12 rise is recommended – will give access to the bathroom, the kitchen and even the outdoors without the need for any other person’s help.
The seat on a standard toilet is only 17 inches from the ground which is actually lower than a the seat on a folding chair and senior rehabilitation and nursing center specialists urge families of seniors that such a height just does not work for those with a bad back or even mild arthritis. Instead, consider installing a Comfort Height or other ADA compliant toilet. These appliances add a full two inches and make settling in and standing a whole lot easier in the most private of moments.
Similarly, most seniors would prefer to take care of their daily hygiene without the help of other family members. Traditional bathtubs with a shower head inside make this difficult as getting into and out of the tub is problematic if not impossible for the senior. Walk-in showers remove the obstacle of the bathtub by providing a door with a very low rim. Once the senior enters the shower, the door seals and the area can be used as a shower or as a bath. Once the water has drained, exiting is just as simple.
Easy Open Hardware
Lever-style handles instead of the hard-to-turn traditional knobs are an easy way to make all rooms accessible to the senior living in your home. In addition, drawer pulls in the kitchen and bathroom that include a gap make easy work for stiff fingers. Lastly, furniture in the bedroom should have drawers that roll on wheels rather than just pull out for ease of use.
While it is always recommended to allow a senior to stay on the ground floor, the situation does not always comply. For whatever reason, a senior who needs access to the second floor or the basement can be provided with a stair lift. These appliances are actually quite affordable – under $3,000 and Medicare or private insurance will even help if your senior is qualified – relatively unobtrusive and extremely easy to use.