Tips for Adaptive Home Improvement
As we age, our needs change and so, too, must our living environments. This is particularly the case for the elderly population, whether they live alone or with the help of another person. As a result, the homes of our senior citizens must be altered to make living safer and more comfortable for both our elderly family and friends and any caretakers. Below is a list of home improvements that can make this life transition a smooth one.
- Pathways and areas where medication is dispensed or administered must be well lit, whether they are used by senior citizens or their caretakers. A variety of lighting can be used, including, but not limited to, ceiling lights or night lights.
- Level changes and travel up and down stairs should be minimal. Primary living spaces (including bedrooms and bathrooms) should be on the main floor. Necessary changes in level should not occur throughout the day and floors should prevent slipping.
- First aid kits, a phone and all emergency phone numbers to police, medical assistance and fire control should be posted in a place that is easy to reach. Emergency call systems may be a useful addition as well. Pathways should be clear and without carpet or loose wires.
- Railings, grab bars and ramps should be installed throughout the home to aid in both day‐to‐day circulation and emergency evacuation. A plan for disaster and fire escape should be developed and communicated to both the elderly person(s) and his or her caretaker.
- If care providers are to live in the home, a room for sleeping and desk space for administrative duties are necessary so that the patient and his or her paperwork can be well taken care of.
- Door knobs may be replaced with levers to facilitate the opening and closing of doors. In addition, appliances and furniture should be both easy to use and low-maintenance.