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Preparing A Home for Seniors To Live Safely

Preparing A Home for Seniors To Live Safely

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Some families opt to have their senior relatives move in with them when they can’t take care of themselves anymore. If you’re taking on this responsibility, here are some ways to prepare your home, presented to you below by Commercial Construction & Renovation Magazine. 

Your Loved One’s Home 

Once you and your loved one decide that they’ll come to live with you, you have to determine what to do with their home. This essentially means you’ll be deciding between selling the home and renting it out. There are pros and cons to each option, but the most important factors are your loved one’s financial needs and the time commitment of being a landlord. Have an honest appraisal of all factors to make a good decision. 

Spot Potential Fall Hazards 

Start by surveying your home and spotting potential fall hazards. As reported by Healthdirect, more than one in four seniors fall each year. Since a fall could lead to serious injuries or complications, check your floor for trip hazards. Consider replacing flooring that is hard to navigate.  

Plan Ahead 

Even if your loved one isn’t in need of a nursing facility, it can be helpful to tour a few to get a sense of the accommodations they have should your loved one need to use one in the future. Making a big decision about nursing facilities is best done when there isn’t an urgent need so you and your loved one can consider all the options thoroughly. 

Decide Whether to Refinance to Pay for Improvements 

One way to pay for senior-friendly upgrades is with a home refinance. Refinancing essentially replaces your old mortgage loan with another featuring a higher balance. The difference between the two is then “cashed out,” and you can use this money to cover the cost of your medical care or home modifications. 

Add a First-Floor Bedroom 

Another way to make things easier for an elderly relative is by adding a first-floor bedroom. Change a den or office into bedroom space or consider building an addition to add convenience for your loved one. 

Remodel the Kitchen and Bathroom 

It’s also important to make your kitchen and bathroom more accessible. Widen pathways and remove any hazards in the kitchen. Add shower grab bars and toilet support bars in the bathroom and consider putting in a walk-in tub for safety. To be sure any bathroom renovation job is done correctly, hire professional contractors that can match what you need with the current property. 

Expand Entryways 

Check out your home’s entryways. Consider expanding them to allow for access via wheelchair or walker. HGTV notes that you may need to widen exterior and interior doorways and clear out any furniture blocking your foyer. Provide ramps for exterior stairs and easier points of access. 

Add Lighting

Lighting is also important for safety and accessibility. Make sure there is plenty of lighting in and around bathrooms and the home’s exterior. Add more lighting in your loved one’s bedroom to give good visibility at night. Make light switches easy to reach and lamps simple to turn on so there aren’t any mishaps. 

Renovate the Basement 

A basement renovation can provide more space for your loved one. Doing the work yourself is an option, but if you want to make the process simple and smooth, hiring a contractor is best. The cost for this type of project may vary, depending on what you need built, the materials you want, and where you live. If your contractor puts down new carpet, make sure the subfloor is put under it since the basement carpet is prone to mold. 

Check Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms 

Another vital step is verifying your smoke detectors are working. Also, be sure to add carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home to stay protected. Check your area’s regulations regarding building codes for smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to see how many are needed in your space. 

Add a Stair Lift 

Going up and down stairs is a risky activity for elderly adults. If you have stairs in your home, you should add a stair lift to improve your senior loved one’s mobility. 

Declutter the Space  

You should also clear out as much clutter as possible to open up your space and reduce any hazards. Go through your things to decide what to keep and what to get rid of and allow yourself the time to do it. Opt for an organizational system that keeps unused items away and avoids any tripping dangers. 

Automate Your Home 

Finally, consider creating a home automation system throughout your property. You can automate lights and certain functions in your space to improve safety and accessibility. Indoor and outdoor cameras can also be added to monitor the situation from work or another location. These DIY home security systems are easy to install and troubleshoot using online resources, too.  

Support Your Loved One’s Mental Health 

Moving from their longtime home can be a very emotional experience for our senior loved ones. Plus, the move may have been prompted by a death or declining health. It’s important that you help to support your loved one during these changes, but don’t feel like you need to be their entire support system. Encourage them to seek professional help who can help them through complex emotions, including depression and anxiety. 

Create a Safe and Welcoming Environment 

Having a senior loved one move in with you is a big transition. Welcome your loved one to a safer and more accessible home with these simple projects and remodeling ideas, including renovations to the kitchen and bathroom. 

For the latest industry news and insight, visit Commercial Construction & Renovation Magazine today!


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