Home Improvements for Family Caregivers Month
November is Family Caregivers Month! Being able to care for an aging loved one is a wonderful gift and we want to start this blog by saying thank you.
Whether you have a loved one living in your home or you’re providing care whether they call home, making sure the house is safe and well maintained is as important as providing medical or companion care. In honor of Family Caregivers Month, we’ve put together a list of our top five most recommended senior-focused home modifications. These modifications are all focused on preventing falls – the leading cause of injury and death in older Americans, according to the CDC.
Hand Rails: Not every senior has the luxury of living in a ranch-style home. If you have steps – whether it’s a full flight of stairs or a couple of porch steps out front – you need a sturdy, correctly-installed, correct-height handrail. Handrails support a lot of weight over the years and, if yours gives way or isn’t supporting your or your loved one correctly, it can cause (or at least not prevent) falling.
Grab Bars: Installing grab bars in your bathroom, especially in the shower, right outside the shower, and by the toilet can make the difference between a senior being able to do provide their own personal care or needing help. They can also be a lifeline, especially when the bathroom gets slippery.
Accessible Showers and Toilets: While we’re in the bathroom, there are two more projects that are worth considering. The first is to install a raised toilet or toilet seat. Having a higher toilet seat can make getting down – and back up – much easier for older adults. Secondly, if it’s in the budget, consider swapping your bathtub for a zero-entry shower, a handicapped-accessible tub, or other more safe alternatives.
Lighting: We’ve all tripped overshoes, stepped on Lego bricks, or kicked the edge of the couch in the dark but, for seniors, those painful annoyances can turn into more major issues. While the first solution might be to bring in a cleaning service, if your home is poorly lit, those tricky trip hazards can still be an issue. Installing additional lights, putting in brighter light bulbs, or lowering light switches can help.
Ramps: This one might seem obvious, but ramps can be a big help even if the person you’re caring for doesn’t need a wheelchair or walker. Making sure that your home is accessible can help make sure your loved one is comfortable venturing out, prevent trip hazards for everyone in your family and prepare your home in case there is a mobility challenge later.
TruBlue Total House Care’s professionally-trained technicians can make these modifications and perform home safety assessments for additional adjustments that might be needed to make your home safe and secure.