So your aged parents have decided they want to to stay in their home throughout their elderly years. Perhaps they refuse alternative options such as moving to a nursing home or living with you for extra support.
If so, you may be wondering how you can make your aged parents home life safe, functional and comfortable in their existing residence.
The benefit of your aged parents staying at home, is that they can remain in an environment in which they are comfortable while maintaining their existing daily routine.
Further to this, in Australia, the government offers financial support for the elderly who wish to reside in their own home. This support is provided in the form of home care packages. The level of care provided depends on the health and mobility of your parents.
Alongside researching home care packages for your aged parents you could propose renovating or adapting their home to create a safer living environment.
As your parent’s age, the energy and initiative they once possessed to maintain, update and clean their home may begin to fade. Which is why the below tips for renovating the house of your aged parents could help to alleviate these tasks.
What Level Of Care Do Your Parents Need?
Before determining how the house will need to be changed to assist your parents in their daily living, establish the level of care they require. Discuss with your parents the areas of the home that would benefit from changing.
Here are a few examples;
- requiring wheelchair access to their home,
- a solution to help them with getting in and out of bed,
- or pulling themselves in and out of the bath is proving difficult.
Note down what needs changing, to research solutions and to devise a cost to figure out the affordability of making these changes.
After speaking to your parents, take a walk around their property to search for hazards in and outside the home which need changing or fixing. Assessing both the exterior and interior will enable you to devise a plan of changing your parents house for the better.
Below are points to consider for both inside and outside the property to help improve the standard of your parents home and to make sure it’s adequate to care for them in their old age.
Being outdoors and tending to a garden is an enjoyable hobby for a lot of people, however as your parents begin to age and their energy is depleted, it may be best to consider changing the garden to one which is easier to maintain and safer to use.
For instance, if there is a lot of glass to mow, this could be changed to artificial grass, or the grass area could be reduced and replaced with cotswold stones.
If the garden has a lot of hedges, bushes and trees, you could ask your parents if they would consider having these removed to make the garden easier to maintain and prevent a neglected garden.
Clear Pathway And Ramps
If steps are leading to the front door or away from the back door, it would be safer to replace the stairs with a raised entrance such as a ramp.
This will be more suitable for wheelchair users and prevent the risk of your parents from tripping up the steps.
Extra outdoor lights (motion sensored) will enable a safer entrance to and from you parents home. A bright outdoor area is essential for ageing parents as their vision may begin to deteriorate.
You could plan for motion sensor lights to sit on the front and back wall of the house to illuminate any dark areas. Solar lights are also a good option for lining any pathways.
Door Entry Systems
With a variety of door entry systems on the market specifically targeted towards the elderly, you could choose a system which requires code entry opposed to using a key.
This will enable you, your family or carers to enter the property in the event of an accident. If you purchase a system with a camera device, your parents will be able to see who is at the door and either allow or refuse entry.
It also prevents the need for your parents to get up and down when they hear a knock at the door or the doorbell ring. A door entry system also means, when your parents leave the house, the door closes and secures the house without the need for a key.
Without having to use a key, it’s one less thing for your parents to worry they have misplaced or lost. This can help provide you and your parent’s peace of mind by improving the safety of their home.
Ground Level Living
If your folks are finding climbing the stairs a daunting daily task, consider proposing you adapt the ground level of the house. You could mention creating an extension for a bedroom and ensuite, or simply change an existing room into a bedroom.
For those who are less mobile, ground-level living will help preserve your parents energy and avoid the risk of a fall on the stairs.
Grab rails are popular for people of all ages however especially for the elderly. Identify where in the house they might need them most. This is usually on the stairs, with two sets of grab rails being better than one, in the bathtub and shower areas.
This will help support your parents when climbing the stairs or provide them with extra help when bathing.
Motion Sensor Lights
Motion sensor lights are handy outside and inside the home without concerning your aged parents with where the light switches are. They won;t need to worry about leaving the house illuminated once they leave their property; the lights will automatically turn off when no one is present.
Another benefit of motion sensor lights is it will help to reduce electricity bills for your parents.
With the permission granted by your parents, you could plan to create an airy refreshing feeling throughout their home by updating the tired decor. However before you let loose with the paint bear in mind your parents may have a different taste in interior design to you.
Although the prospect of you helping to renovate their home for the better is very considerate, changing their home to suit you will most likely not please your parents happy.
Which is they should be involved with the decorating to make sure it’s something they love and feel comfortable with their surroundings. This could mean they adore the 1980’s interior design decor so it would be your job to emulate this look.
Regarding furnishings such as beds and sofas, it would be advantageous to consider orthopaedic mattresses, and power rising chairs to better help your aged parents with their mobility.
The above ideas touch on just a few ways you can help change your parents home for the better to suit them in their older years. Other improvements to consider are wider internal doors for wheelchair access and a stair lift to transport your parents upstairs.