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6 Accessibility Home Improvements for Seniors
Published on 19 July 2021 in BlogHomeowner TipsOttawa FamiliesSafety by Jenn Chamberlain
Last updated on April 13th, 2023 at 03:38 pm
More seniors want to be able to stay put and age in a place where they are most comfortable – at home. But this can be a complicated process if their home isn’t exactly safe enough to give you the peace of mind while they’re on their own. Every person will have their own needs, depending on their conditions and limitations. However, there are some standard upgrades that can be done to significantly reduce safety concerns and maximize their safety and comfort at home. Here are six accessibility home improvements to consider for your senior loved one.
Replace Any Damaged Flooring
Slips and falls are one of the biggest risk factors for seniors living at home. If the current flooring in their home is in any way dangerous or could be a potential tripping hazard, consider replacing and updating it. High-pile carpets, for example, can be particularly dangerous for seniors who have mobility or balance issues. Instead, switch to low pile carpet and choose one that is solid in its design, avoiding any vibrant patterns. If you’re planning on installing laminate, tile or hardwood, make sure you take a look at the slip rating first. This will help you determine which is the safer option for fall prevention.
Upgrade The Bathroom
Personal hygiene can become increasingly challenging for ageing parents, and it’s another common area that can be dangerous for slipping. A few changes can help make it much safer for them. An upgraded bathtub or shower might be necessary, so they can easily bathe themselves safely without feeling constrained. You can have an existing tub converted into a walk-in design so they won’t have to struggle to step over the side. Install grab bars in the shower and beside the toilet to give them something to hold on to and add non-slip flooring if need be.
If your parents plan to age in place, it might be worth taking on bigger home improvements, such as widening doorways. Older homes tend to have narrow doorways, which can be limiting if your loved one has to use a mobility device to move around. To prevent them from feeling restricted in their own home, talk to your contractor about the possibility of widening the doorways to improve this.
Check for any areas of the home that could use additional lighting. For example, any hallways, stairways, and pathways should be well lit and easy for them to navigate. Don’t forget to install lighting outside of the home as well, including motion sensor lights that will switch on automatically during those dimmer evenings.
Repair Front Exterior and Walkway
If the exterior and walkway leading up to the front door look worse for wear with crumbling or wobbly patio stones, have these repaired or replaced. These can become very hazardous if they’re ignored, especially during the winter when the ground is covered in snow. It’s also important to have any main pathways stable and well-lit to avoid injury.
Install Bathroom on Main Floor
When those trips up to the second floor to use the washroom become more challenging, it might be worth considering installing a bathroom on the main floor. Discuss your options with your contractor to see if this is a viable option. It could save them from having to trek up and down the stairs multiple times each day.If you’re looking for a new home that already has accessibility home improvements to suit your ageing parents, contact our team at RE/MAX Affiliates Geoff & Bobbie McGowan Realty. We can discuss your needs and help you find the perfect place for mom and dad.