Living with an Elder: What Home Changes to Consider

By Catsup and Mustard
An elder eating at home

It can be tough to live with an elder, especially when you are the only caregiver in the family. You might feel like you are constantly doing things for them and never getting time to yourself. However, there are ways to make life easier for both of you. One way is to consider making some changes to your home.

There are several reasons why it is necessary to adjust your home when living with an elder. The first reason is that as people get older, they often have a more challenging time getting around. Their bones start to ache more, they begin to lose muscle mass, or they can’t walk as far as they used to. The second reason is that as people age, their senses start to decline. They might not be able to see or hear as well as they used to, and they might not be able to taste or smell the food as strongly. It can make it difficult for them to cook or eat independently.

Finally, as people get older, they are more likely to suffer from health problems like dementia or Alzheimer’s. These diseases can cause them to become confused or forgetful, and they might not be able to care for themselves anymore.

Fortunately, you can make a few home adjustments to ensure your elderly loved one can live in a convenient home. Here are the first changes to pursue.

Move Everything to the Ground Floor

It can be challenging and dangerous for elders to walk up and down the stairs. This is because people often have more difficulty getting around as they age. Their bones start to ache more, they begin to lose muscle mass, or they can’t walk as far as they used to. It can make it difficult and dangerous for them to step up and down the stairs.

You might need to consider moving everything to the ground floor  so that your elder loved one doesn’t have to go up and down the stairs. It can include furniture, appliances, and even the grocery store. It might be a little inconvenient for you initially, but it will be worth it in the long run.

If you cannot move everything downstairs, you can try installing a chairlift or railing on the stairs. The lift chairs are an excellent way to help people climb stairs without any challenges. They are easy to use, and they don’t require a lot of strength or coordination. The railings will also give your elders something to hold on to when climbing stairs.

Make Things Easy to Reach

An elder with back pain

As people get older, their senses start to decline. They might not be able to see or hear as well as they used to, and they might not be able to taste or smell the food as strongly. It can make it difficult for them to cook or eat independently.

You can help your elder by making things easy for them to reach. For example, you can put the food in lower cabinets, so they don’t have to bend down to get it. You can also set the dishes on an adjustable shelf so  they can be raised or lowered, depending on your elders’ needs.

You can also install grab bars in the shower and by the toilet. These bars will give your elders something to hold on to when they get in and out of the shower or use the bathroom. It can help them feel more confident and independent.

However, keeping hazardous materials, like cleaning supplies and knives, out of reach is also essential. You don’t want your elders to hurt themselves when trying to use them accidentally. Items like scissors, lighters, and power tools should be kept in a safe place where they can’t reach them.

Make Things Visible

As people age, their vision also starts to decline. The lenses in their eyes begin to thicken and yellow. The muscles in their eyes might also weaken, making it difficult for them to focus on things.

You can make things easier for your elders by increasing the lighting in their homes. You can install brighter light bulbs or add more lamps to their rooms. You  can also paint the walls with lighter colors to make the room appear brighter.

It would help if you also tried to reduce the amount of clutter in your elders’ homes. Too much stuff can make it difficult for them to focus on what they are doing. It can also be dangerous if they trip over something or fall.

Conclusion

Making a few home adjustments can be incredibly beneficial for your elderly loved ones. It can help them live independently and safely in their homes. These changes can also make their lives more convenient and comfortable.

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