Its a topic that not many want to talk about, but there’ll never be a better time to start considering how you’ll modify your parents home for their old age.
Sadly it's a fact of life that many people after the age of 70 require walk aids, additional hand rails and even wheelchairs to get around. However the good news is that with a properly modified home there is no need for your parents to be any less independent than when they were 30.
Image From Pixabay
For proper, customised advice I suggest you speak with a disability access builder , however this is a good list to get you started.
1. Do They Need an Access Ramp?
The first step to making a home disability friendly is to get people inside successfully. In many cases this means replacing steps with an access ramp. Each state has their own building regulations, but overall a properly constructed access ramp will make it very easy for all wheeled devices to enter the property.
2. Eliminate Stairs
If your parents are used to living on the second story with a flight of stairs in the middle then it’s worth considering a stair lift. There are many models that are coming on the market today that are relatively inexpensive and can be installed in a day.
3. Bathroom Accessibility
The next area that you need to consider modifying is the bathroom. Often if people are in wheelchairs you’ll need to create an ‘open plan’ bathroom by removing any shower screens and bathtubs. In their place you should place an ‘open’ shower with a shower seat, hand rails and anti-slip sealer on the ground to prevent any injuries.
4. Kitchen Accessibility
The next area that requires some major modification is the kitchen. Commonly you’ll need to lower the benches, remove the lower cupboards to allow a wheelchair to slide in like at a table, as well as create enough room for them to turn around easily.
Other kitchen modifications to expect include pull out storage systems for the pantry and cupboards, as well as adjusting overhead storage.
5. Floor Coverings
While it’s essential that all floors in the home of an elderly person are non-slip, if they're in a wheelchair you also want to minimize the amount of carpet. Normally good quality tiles with a non-slip coating does a great job.
6. Alarm Systems
As your parents get older there is no better way to provide you (and them) peace of mind than a personal alarm system. There are many different models on the market that tailor to all needs and budgets.
From basic models that send you a SMS & calls you in case of emergency, through to ones that come connected directly to a private nurse or 000.
While it may seem like a lot of work to get your parents home modified, think of it this way - would you prefer them to enjoy their last years in the comfort of their own home, or locked up in a nursing home instead?